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  1. #1
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    Newbie question

    After 10 yrs. of riding mountain bikes I finally broke down & bought my first road bike last week.Giant ocr 3.I noticed today when I was riding with my hands on the hoods my elbows are locked out,Is this normal ? Should I crouch down more so my elbows are bent or do I need a shorter stem?I'm 5' 8" bike is 50cm. Med.size frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper39
    After 10 yrs. of riding mountain bikes I finally broke down & bought my first road bike last week.Giant ocr 3.I noticed today when I was riding with my hands on the hoods my elbows are locked out,Is this normal ? Should I crouch down more so my elbows are bent or do I need a shorter stem?I'm 5' 8" bike is 50cm. Med.size frame.
    This is an uneducated guess because I don't know your measurements, but I'd say that frame is too small for you. I'm 5' 6", 29" inseam and road a small OCR3 and it was just right, maybe slightly too small. On Treks, I'm a 52 cm. You should be on a medium frame.

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    Locked elbows can cause wrist and back problems. Bent elbows will be more comfortable and more efficient in the long run. Hard to tell what is causing your problem without seeing you ride. If the bike is new, you should should be willing to help you with setup. Sometimes moving your saddle back a little can reduce pressure on your arms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
    This is an uneducated guess because I don't know your measurements, but I'd say that frame is too small for you. I'm 5' 6", 29" inseam and road a small OCR3 and it was just right, maybe slightly too small. On Treks, I'm a 52 cm. You should be on a medium frame.
    ?

    He's on a medium frame already. I bet the medium is good for you, but the adjustments to the different position are the problem. If you can lean more, do it, but if not, focus on changing hand positions frequently to avoid soreness and numbness in your hands and arms.

    Also, can you reach the drops and are they comfortable?

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    Uhh?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
    I'd say that frame is too small for you. You should be on a medium frame.
    Just checking, but the last words of the OP are "Med.size frame." Are we reading the same posts? At any rate, the locked elbows thing is mostly due to riding style, though a too-LARGE cockpit could cause this. Learn to ride with your elbows bent. It's more comfortable, cushions road shock, and makes you less likely to be thrown off course if you hit somethng or get bumped.

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    Hard to say..

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper39
    After 10 yrs. of riding mountain bikes I finally broke down & bought my first road bike last week.Giant ocr 3.I noticed today when I was riding with my hands on the hoods my elbows are locked out,Is this normal ? Should I crouch down more so my elbows are bent or do I need a shorter stem?I'm 5' 8" bike is 50cm. Med.size frame.

    It's hard to say without seeing you ride. You should be fairly stretched out, and your pelvis should be rotated forward so you are down low with your back flat. Try leaning forward more and bending your elbows, you can get lower by doing this. What I try to do once and awhile is see if I can touch my chin to my stem (just watch where you are going before you try this). Your saddle should be as level as possible, too far back and it will drop the weight on your rear wheel. Mt bikers ride in a more upright position. Roadies are more spread out for aerodynamic reasons, and for long rides, it's easier on the body. It might take awhile to get comfortable. First dial in your saddle position then hone in on your bars. Check out photos of the pros, see how they ride..you can buy some books that will help you, One I refer to from time-to-time is Training For Cycling by Davis Phinney and Connier Carpenter. Good section on bike fit..

    Although cycling hits mainly the lower body, you need to develope upper body strength and flexibility in order to maintain position. It usually comes with time...(years for me)..

  7. #7
    TWD
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    Well, after 10 years of riding mtb, you're no doubt more used to an upright position. If you're on a road bike which typically is set up for a lower more aero position, and you gravitate back towards your upright position, your arms are going to straighten out to compensate.

    So yeah, it could be as simple as you need to get used to bending your elbows and get used to a lower position. You may just need to put some miles in to get used to it. Stretching your back and hamstrings can help as well.

    I put a lot of miles on commuting to work on my cross bike with a backpack, so I have a more upright position than on my road bike. I also do a fair bit of miles on my mtb, so when I get on my road bike, I have to remember to get down a little lower. If I don't, guess what happens? My elbows lock out.

    And another thing, if you're a recent mtb convert, ditch the visor on your helmet when your'e on the road if you haven't done that already. It's hard to get a lower position when you can't see past your visor.

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the quick replies.I will work on my aero position more.After I posted I measured my stem to saddle on both bikes and my mtb. is 1" longer than the roadie but I have more bend in the arms when riding the mtb. of course more upright because of thre riser bars & upright geometry of the frame.After riding my mountain bike on the road for the last decade It amazes me how much faster a road bike is,I never knew how much drag those 2.1 knobbies caused, not to mention the difference in the gearing.Sorry I'm just hyped up & rambling.Thanks again for all your help

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    Actually Medium is probably too big

    Giant's size M is equivalent to a traditional size 56. How many 5'8" people ride size 56 bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
    This is an uneducated guess because I don't know your measurements, but I'd say that frame is too small for you. I'm 5' 6", 29" inseam and road a small OCR3 and it was just right, maybe slightly too small. On Treks, I'm a 52 cm. You should be on a medium frame.

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    It's normal for the measurement on the MTB to be longer

    The MTB bar is flat (even point a bit backwards) but the road bar twists forward so when you are hands are in the hoods, your hand position is really about 4-5" ahead of the tip of the stem. As I said in my other post, the M is likely on the larger side and a shorter stem may be a good idea. I am exactly 5'8" and ride a small Giant TCR which fits well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by elviento
    Giant's size M is equivalent to a traditional size 56. How many 5'8" people ride size 56 bikes?
    I was gonna point out this little fact...

    I'm 5'8" and even have a long-ish torso and I don't fit the Giant line at all. Too short or too long for the sizing they list. I much prefer the Specialized sizing (I ride an S-Works that comes in 1cm increments, so don't flame me) to the Giant sizing.

    To the OP: you probably need to shorten yer stem. Try out a few and see what feels best. The position on a road bike and a mtn bike are different. You WILL need time to adjust no matter what you do to the stem.

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elviento
    The MTB bar is flat (even point a bit backwards) but the road bar twists forward so when you are hands are in the hoods, your hand position is really about 4-5" ahead of the tip of the stem. As I said in my other post, the M is likely on the larger side and a shorter stem may be a good idea. I am exactly 5'8" and ride a small Giant TCR which fits well.

    I'll pick up a shorter stem this weekend & see if that helps

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    Don't forget lever positon

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper39
    I'll pick up a shorter stem this weekend & see if that helps

    You can move the position of your STI levers (I presume you have Shimano). I was fitted and had my Colnago Master X-Light built up by the owner of my LBS (Campy Record Ergo's). I felt like I was always over-reaching for the Ergo's. One day (about a year later) I had my bike in the shop and one of the mechanics mentioned that my Ergo's were placed in the wrong spot. He suggested that I rotate my bars down, and move the Ergo's up the bars, it would make my bike fit better. Well, I thought about this for about 4 months or so. I installed new bar tape on my bars and for the heck of it, did what the wrench suggested, and it was like night and day. You can shorten the reach by moving the levers up the bars. It's easy to do, you will probably have to install new tape. I used Gel tape, which you can pull on and off as it has a very light adhesive backing.

    Most bikes need a little tweaking when they are new, so it might take a couple of months, or longer, until you get everything dialed in..I have a short upper body torso and have a 10cm stem on my 56.9 TT, but I'm thinking of going to a 11cm stem as I'm a little bit more fexible now...if you swap out stems, see if they will let you try one out first, before you buy...

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    All good advice, but it doesn`t mean anything until you've got alot of time on the bike. Learn to tilt your hips forward, support in the core, and bend your elbows.

    Your frame is the right size. Saddle and stem adjustments go a long way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunout
    All good advice, but it doesn`t mean anything until you've got alot of time on the bike. Learn to tilt your hips forward, support in the core, and bend your elbows.

    Your frame is the right size. Saddle and stem adjustments go a long way.
    Thanks to everyone for all the advice.I put a 90mm stem on today.I think the stock one was 110mm.I haven't had a chance to take it out on the road yet,But riding around in the driveway it felt alot better.I have only put 42 mi.s on the bike so far. I'm sure I will have to do alot more fine tuning to get it just right.

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    djg
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper39
    After 10 yrs. of riding mountain bikes I finally broke down & bought my first road bike last week.Giant ocr 3.I noticed today when I was riding with my hands on the hoods my elbows are locked out,Is this normal ? Should I crouch down more so my elbows are bent or do I need a shorter stem?I'm 5' 8" bike is 50cm. Med.size frame.
    It's hard to know what's wrong without seeing you on the bike, but you should be able to bend your elbows (without stress or thinking too much about it). I'd go back to the shop, describe the problem, and let them look at you on the bike (on a trainer maybe). Seems to me that Giant compact bikes tout adjustability of fit via a selection of stems, posts, etc. (or at least they have in the past), so if a different stem is required (a) they should be able to guide you and (b) maybe it shouldn't be your dime. Also, if it's a "medium" sized compact frame, I'm guessing that 50cm could only represent an actual seat tube length, which doesn't tell you much (especially on a compact frame) about what your reach and drop to the bars is likely to be.

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    If you go over to PO we can find out pretty easy...

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper39
    After 10 yrs. of riding mountain bikes I finally broke down & bought my first road bike last week.Giant ocr 3.I noticed today when I was riding with my hands on the hoods my elbows are locked out,Is this normal ? Should I crouch down more so my elbows are bent or do I need a shorter stem?I'm 5' 8" bike is 50cm. Med.size frame.
    one way or the other your bike may or may not be too small or too large...easy test;

    If you are a democrat-or tend that way-it's probably too small (example Kerry's Serotta)

    If you are a conservative-it may or may not matter because you are too busy endo-ing and claiming that it's the grounds fault ;)

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