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Bike set up

Jun 4, 2009
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Help for a novice please. I've just started riding but rather than spending a lot of money on a new bike I opted for a used one [just in case I lost interest]. I'm 6ft 3in and the bike I have is an XL. What I would like to ascertain is if I have the bike set up in relation to my various body parts :) legs, arms, reach etc, correct. I've been unable to locate a suitable website/page which gives me the ideal set up of a bike in relation to my size. Any assistance would be appreciated.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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You'll probably find two schools of thought. One is fitting based on limb etc measurements and the other is fitting based on flexibility and observation of performance on a bike. Personally, I prefer the latter and have had success with Serotta fittings. Search the internet for a Serotta fitter near you.
 
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iwannabeabiker said:
Help for a novice please. I've just started riding but rather than spending a lot of money on a new bike I opted for a used one [just in case I lost interest]. I'm 6ft 3in and the bike I have is an XL. What I would like to ascertain is if I have the bike set up in relation to my various body parts :) legs, arms, reach etc, correct. I've been unable to locate a suitable website/page which gives me the ideal set up of a bike in relation to my size. Any assistance would be appreciated.

If you want free advice, post a picture of you on the bike from the side. It can be on a trainer or road. (obscure anything you like besides your neck down to the contact patch of the tires.) I am sure someone can get you in the ballpark from that if you just want a general fit.

Specific fit will cost.
 
Jun 4, 2009
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Thanks for the replies. I used the fit calculator and pretty much confirmed my suspicions that the frame is too small for me. All the measurements of the frame are less than what the fit calculator recommends. Fortunately the seat post is long and I've managed to increase the BB saddle position to the ideal length however the pressure through my arms and hands on the handle bars has increased because the handle bars are much lower than before [of course you know this]. Besides getting a bigger frame and suggestions what I can do to the existing frame/set up to improve this. FYI the top tube of the bike is 57cm and my ideal TT is 60cm. Appeciate your thoughts. Cheers
 
May 26, 2009
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iwannabeabiker said:
Thanks for the replies. I used the fit calculator and pretty much confirmed my suspicions that the frame is too small for me. All the measurements of the frame are less than what the fit calculator recommends. Fortunately the seat post is long and I've managed to increase the BB saddle position to the ideal length however the pressure through my arms and hands on the handle bars has increased because the handle bars are much lower than before [of course you know this]. Besides getting a bigger frame and suggestions what I can do to the existing frame/set up to improve this. FYI the top tube of the bike is 57cm and my ideal TT is 60cm. Appeciate your thoughts. Cheers

Well it's possible to make the virtual top tube longer by using a longer stem. How long is your current stem?
 
May 4, 2009
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Sadly you are learning that in cycling, sizes like s,m,l,xl are pretty much useless without their corresponding measurements.

Its true for bike frames.

Its true for apparel.

What you will also learn is that you are outside the normal bell curve for heighth in cycling. You will find a lot of bikes that don't even go up to a 60cm top tube. Luckily there are still a lot that do.

You can add a long upturned stem to help in the reach department and take solice in the fact that many of the pros ride the smallest bikes they can fit on and use long stems and exagerated seat hights.
 
bvfrompc said:
Sadly you are learning that in cycling, sizes like s,m,l,xl are pretty much useless without their corresponding measurements.

Its true for bike frames.

Its true for apparel.

What you will also learn is that you are outside the normal bell curve for heighth in cycling. You will find a lot of bikes that don't even go up to a 60cm top tube. Luckily there are still a lot that do.

You can add a long upturned stem to help in the reach department and take solice in the fact that many of the pros ride the smallest bikes they can fit on and use long stems and exagerated seat hights.

Yes and yes. A smaller frame is not necessarily a bad thing as it will be stiffer and lighter - and with your TT being only 3 cm smaller than ideal you are good to go IMHO on frame size. You can put some spacers under the stem on the steerer tube above the headset and raise the bars up a bit that way, also get a stem with a greater degree rise than you have now.

Saddle height is the most important thing to get right IMHO. You want about a 15 degree bend in your knee when your leg is fully extended.

As elapid suggested, if you post a pic of you riding that could help us give you some fit tips

Oh yes, and I just remembered, if you have pics of any female friends riding you should post them as well, thanks. :D
 
elapid said:
You'll probably find two schools of thought. One is fitting based on limb etc measurements and the other is fitting based on flexibility and observation of performance on a bike.

I completely agree with this. The first way to notice this is to look at the disparity in height between seat post and handlebars. The average rec cyclist has a very small difference between these two. But look at a bike by most any pro sprinter and you'll see a huge difference. Why? It has little to do with the size of the rider, and much more to do with style and performance.

Thoughtforfood said:
If you want free advice, post a picture of you on the bike from the side. .

Or videotape yourself, both sitting and standing on the bike.