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Old school home bike fit?

Jul 16, 2009
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Havent had a bike fit since I got my Trek road bike some years ago and on long rides feel too "stretched out" on the bike.

Is the general rule of thumb that if you are on the hoods that your front axle should be obscured by your handlebars??

If so is this a seat forward adjustment first or a shorter handlebar stem??

Chicken or the egg question!!!!!

Thanks :eek:
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Your best bet for finding the best 'quick fit' is to get your seat height set, then the seat fore/aft position, then mess with the handlebar/stem combination.

To get your seat height right, sit on the saddle, clip in to your pedals, lock out one of your knees with the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke and have a friend look at the sole of your show. The sole of the shoe should be parallel to the ground when in this position.

For fore/aft position fo the saddle, stay clipped in and bring your right foot to the three o'clock position (crank arm parallel to the ground). Use a level to determine that your knee-cap is plumb with the end of the crank arm.

That will ensure that your saddle is pretty close to the optimal position.

Go for another ride and see how your upper body feels.

Typically, your torso should lean forward at about a 45 degree andgle and your arms should rise at a 45 degree angle when you are on the tops of the bars.

Good luck.
 
Another point to note after completing above is that when changing stem length to adjust reach keep in mind that anything shorter than a 110mm stem lenth is really too short for stable bunch riding on the road, and a smaller frame should be considered.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Milani09 said:
Another point to note after completing above is that when changing stem length to adjust reach keep in mind that anything shorter than a 110mm stem lenth is really too short for stable bunch riding on the road, and a smaller frame should be considered.

Just FYI, stem length below 110 is really common, most women bikes have something below that. Also, some people have long legs and short torsos hence pretty much invalidating what you just said.

I've went from a 110 to a 90 back to a 100 and the difference is very small in handling. I bunch ride at least once a week.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Milani09 said:
Another point to note after completing above is that when changing stem length to adjust reach keep in mind that anything shorter than a 110mm stem lenth is really too short for stable bunch riding on the road, and a smaller frame should be considered.

100% agree with Nevermind. It is completely incorrect to make a sweeping statement regarding stem length without assessing rider physiology, irrespective of where, how and when you ride.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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If the front of your knee is straight above the pedal center when your crank arms are level, then seat fore/aft is about right (I sit about 0.5 cm behind this position). My wife & I ride the same size cyclocross frame (52) but her with an 80mm stem and me with a 110. I'm considering a 120. Her bike is still more stable than mine, due to different fork (she has a swept one, mine is straight). I wouldn't worry go ahead and shorten your stem.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Nevermind said:
J Also, some people have long legs and short torsos hence pretty much invalidating what you just said.
.

+1 i'm in the category, still trying to get my headstem lenght right, but dropping frame size is not an option coz then the top of seat to top of bar distance is way too aggressive.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Don't forget that another thing that drives stem length is top tube length, specifically the amount of top tube in front of the bottom bracket. Say you have a 54 cm frame, with a 54 cm top tube length, with a 74 degree seat tube angle (pretty much an old school Italian steel frame :)) Change the seat tube angle to 73 degrees, keeping top tube at 54 cm. You wind up with about 1 cm less in front of the bottom bracket, so if your seat is in the same position relative to the center of the bottom bracket, you need a longer stem.

So go by David's post; stem length last. Keep in mind that as you raise the stem (reduce the seat to handlebar drop) you make it effectively shorter. With most modern stems, you can flip them to get different amounts of rise, which also affect stem length.

Generalization: too long and you wind up pulling yourself forward on the seat or feeling out of control, especially climbing out of the saddle. Too short and you wind up with pains in the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Above is just the opinions of an engineer based on my own riding experience.