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  1. #1
    mac
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    Might have bought too small of a bike frame. How can I extend the reach?

    I switching from riding a road bike which might have been just slightly too long for me (i.e. I was really stretched out and flat when in the drops) but that I could handle very well to a touring bike that might be a size too small. I'm so used to riding with my arms outstreched and butt back that switching to a more upright position is a real shocker, as well as the higher center-of-gravity and less stability that comes with it.

    How can I extend the reach of my bike? My stem is 10 deg, 80mm long. I was thinking of switching to a +/- 5 or +/- 10 deg, 140mm long stem. Would that extra length destabilize my bike as I turn? Right now, I can't brace myself when stopping since my arms are too long.

    Is there a seatpost that has the saddle mounting bracket behind the downtube instead of directly over it?

    I picked this frame because it was the correct standover height and I could firmly stand on the ground and have an inch of clearance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    I switching from riding a road bike which might have been just slightly too long for me (i.e. I was really stretched out and flat when in the drops) but that I could handle very well to a touring bike that might be a size too small. I'm so used to riding with my arms outstreched and butt back that switching to a more upright position is a real shocker, as well as the higher center-of-gravity and less stability that comes with it.

    How can I extend the reach of my bike? My stem is 10 deg, 80mm long. I was thinking of switching to a +/- 5 or +/- 10 deg, 140mm long stem. Would that extra length destabilize my bike as I turn? Right now, I can't brace myself when stopping since my arms are too long.

    Is there a seatpost that has the saddle mounting bracket behind the downtube instead of directly over it?

    I picked this frame because it was the correct standover height and I could firmly stand on the ground and have an inch of clearance.
    There are seatpost with setback, if that is what you mean. A 140 stem won't necessarily 'destabilize' the bike, but something like a 110 or 120 might be more appropriate,and if the 140 is what it really takes,maybe you ought to start over with the right size frame and toptube.

  3. #3
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    change to a 120mm stem and move ur seat back. normally touring bikes have different caster on the fork so they wont handle as well. the touring bike is about milage not handling. hope that helps some.

  4. #4
    mac
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    I was thinking of getting rid of the drop handlebars and switch to mountain bike handlebars. Coupled with a longer stem, would that solve my top-tube length problem? I'm very comfortable on my motorcycle, a dirtbike (i.e. mountain bike handlebars), and can forcefully brace myself if/when I front-brake hard. I'd really like that kind of feel on my touring bike.

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    If you switch to MTB flat bars, you're going to give up the ability to change hand positions during long rides. You're also going to force yourself into even more of an upright position. Also, flat bars will require you to change the stem because MTB and road bars have different diameters. I'm not really sure why you need to "brace" yourself to brake. Even under touring loads, you be able to brake comfortably from the hoods since the calipers, not the levers, provide the braking power. Try a seatpost with a setback (25-35mm) and a longer stem to stretch out while remaining centered on the bike.

  6. #6
    mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerckxMad
    I'm not really sure why you need to "brace" yourself to brake. Even under touring loads, you be able to brake comfortably from the hoods since the calipers, not the levers, provide the braking power.
    Well when I am going down the mountain in the drops with my new touring bike, my elbows were overlapping my knees too much and I couldn't "push out" with my arms to brace myself, much less when applying the front-brake to quickly stop. If I pushed my butt back completely off the rear of the seat, then maybe I could brace myself, but that's too far.

    The frustrating part is that the standover height is correct. If it's any higher, I'll mash my privates when stopping and standing over the frame.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac

    The frustrating part is that the standover height is correct. If it's any higher, I'll mash my privates when stopping and standing over the frame.
    Well, you can't overlook TT length and seattube angle in the bigger picture of decent fit.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden with up to 150mm stems - no problemo with stability. Get your seat position right first, and then feel free to use any stem you like - they're inexpensive and you may have to experiment to find the "right" length. If you buy'em used, you can sell your spares and not lose any $$ except shipping.

  9. #9
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    itz really impossible to have a 'fit' conversation via posts. Especially with your noted 'expectations', noteably the need for 'bracing' are placed in such high expectation and regard.
    Fit is first intended to put you, the rider in the best ergos for powering the machine and doing that for whatever period of time and ride intensity planned. ie - setting up a track bike (for actually riding track) vs a road machine set for hours of road riding, for the same rider, will find some significant changes in position.
    Any recommendations for changing your seat location based on some desire for 'bracing' will certainly defeat the primary reasons for seat position, which is put the rider in a good power and bio-mechanically sound position. That relates to overall leg length, hip to knee and knee to ankle, and ankle to ball of foot lengths.
    From there, the position of the bars will determine the relative position of the upper body, its ability to contribute to power production and comfort over the riding time. Further into 'competition', upper body is also set to provide the best aerodynamics possible. The combination of toptub and stem length determine that (along with bar width and drop, but we won't go there 2nite). The proper balance of these allow for a balanced weight distribution to the contact patches.
    Too far back and the front end becomes light, unstable and can create real problems at speed, expecially on fast downhill sections.
    You mention motorcycles, well ridin any 2 whlr is really extremely closely related. Neither machine will handle at optimum when any of the joints from the shoulder, elbow and wrist are locked or 'braced'. Best is a 'loose' suppleness to the arms, let the bike dynamics work properly and steer with your fingers. This, of course, is not a consideration with cruisers, Harleys or other farm implements.
    I would suggest that a good fit session with someone who really knows (good luck finding and qualifying that person) and then make the adjustments needed. From there changes in riding technique might prove beneficial to getting the most from your riding time, whether touring or whatever. This is all considerably more important than some worry about 'bracing' for emergency brakin.
    But what do I know...

  10. #10
    mac
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    Yup, I know about seat height, etc. for power. Mine's a bit low right now (since it's a new bike) and I'm slowly raising it. As for "bracing", I don't mean locked arms. For me, a nice 45 degree angle at the elbow is great as I can smash over road debris, potholes, etc. and brace myself for hard braking. I can also pull myself up on mountain climbs. Right now, it's almost 90 degrees and my arms aren't functioning as good shock absorbers, nor do I have the pulling power.

    On my road bike, I've gotten up over 46 MPH going downhill and I've been pretty far back in the seat and nearly horizontal. Didn't have any issues with stability or handling as my weight was directed downwards into the drops as my arms were bracing myself.

    Tomorrow I'm putting my new bike back on my trainer to get a pretty good idea of how long of a stem (and what angle) to get, then go to my LBS to order it.

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