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  1. #1
    GGE
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    Trying to get a proper fit on a hybrid

    Hi, all,
    I just bought a Trek 7100 hybrid at an LBS which is 75 miles away from me. I am pretty short (5'4'') and they fit me with a 15-in frame. I don't really like the riding position so far, so I'm trying to figure out if the problem is the frame size or just that I don't like the hybrid style. The problem is that even with the seat raised pretty high (just shy of the minimum insertion point on the seatpost), I don't get full leg extension on the pedaling downstroke, so my power and speed are limited. So here are my questions:

    1. Is it possible that I should be on a 17.5-in frame, or is this just the way hybrids are supposed to fit?

    2. If the frame size is right, can I get a longer seatpost to raise my position, or does that just conflict with the basic style and geometry of a hybrid?

    3. Would adjusting the stem/handlebars offer any improvements?

    I do like the bike otherwise and think it would be fine as is for 10-15 miles on a MUP, but want to know if I can get better performance out of it. I can't really afford a road bike right now and I have an older mountain bike that I still use, but I need to do some work on that one. I do plan to go back to the LBS if necessary, but it is not convenient to get there except on Saturdays. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGE
    I don't get full leg extension on the pedaling downstroke, so my power and speed are limited. So here are my questions:

    1. Is it possible that I should be on a 17.5-in frame, or is this just the way hybrids are supposed to fit?

    2. If the frame size is right, can I get a longer seatpost to raise my position, or does that just conflict with the basic style and geometry of a hybrid?

    3. Would adjusting the stem/handlebars offer any improvements?

    I do like the bike otherwise and think it would be fine as is for 10-15 miles on a MUP, but want to know if I can get better performance out of it. I can't really afford a road bike right now and I have an older mountain bike that I still use, but I need to do some work on that one. I do plan to go back to the LBS if necessary, but it is not convenient to get there except on Saturdays. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    IMHO if you can't get full, and I do mean FULL, leg extension with the stock seatpost, then you have too small of a frame, particularly for a hybrid.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGE
    Hi, all,
    I just bought a Trek 7100 hybrid at an LBS which is 75 miles away from me. I am pretty short (5'4'') and they fit me with a 15-in frame. I don't really like the riding position so far, so I'm trying to figure out if the problem is the frame size or just that I don't like the hybrid style. The problem is that even with the seat raised pretty high (just shy of the minimum insertion point on the seatpost), I don't get full leg extension on the pedaling downstroke, so my power and speed are limited. So here are my questions:

    1. Is it possible that I should be on a 17.5-in frame, or is this just the way hybrids are supposed to fit?

    2. If the frame size is right, can I get a longer seatpost to raise my position, or does that just conflict with the basic style and geometry of a hybrid?

    3. Would adjusting the stem/handlebars offer any improvements?

    I do like the bike otherwise and think it would be fine as is for 10-15 miles on a MUP, but want to know if I can get better performance out of it. I can't really afford a road bike right now and I have an older mountain bike that I still use, but I need to do some work on that one. I do plan to go back to the LBS if necessary, but it is not convenient to get there except on Saturdays. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    I thought I was the only one...My wife is about 5'6" but has a 29" inseam and rides a 17.5" Trek 7300. The seatpost is almost down to the shock and allows for a full leg extension, but the top tube is too long, resulting in her moving the seat fully forward (we even swapped the seat for one with longer rails), she pulled her handlebars fully back (we may raise the stem this week as well), but the standover is still too high.

    She tried the 15" but it was too small

    Weird geometry for a basic hybrid

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho
    IMHO if you can't get full, and I do mean FULL, leg extension with the stock seatpost, then you have too small of a frame, particularly for a hybrid.

    +1 - Who fitted you at the bike shop? I'd give them a call and express my displeasure/concern. On any bike you should have some flexibility in the range of adjustments you can make. This seems not to by the case for you. Perhaps the shop switched seat posts prior to selling it to you and has a very short one installed. I think, however, it is more likely the wrong size frame for you.
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    GGE
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    Thanks for the responses. The manager (may also be the owner, I'm not sure) fitted me and in the store he raised the seatpost several times to improve the leg extension, then sent me on my way. I guess the thing to do is drive back there this Saturday and ask to try a 17.5-in frame. How are LBSs on exchanging bikes?

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGE
    Thanks for the responses. The manager (may also be the owner, I'm not sure) fitted me and in the store he raised the seatpost several times to improve the leg extension, then sent me on my way. I guess the thing to do is drive back there this Saturday and ask to try a 17.5-in frame. How are LBSs on exchanging bikes?

    They differ quite a bit. However, if it's a quality shop with quality people, and assuming there is no excessive wear or damage on the bike you currently have, you should be able to work something out.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

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    When you say full leg extension what do you mean?
    A recomended method for setting the saddle height is to place your heel on the pedal and raise the saddle until your knees lock out. When you ride with the ball of your foot on the pedal you will have enough knee flex for safe riding.

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I was going to start a thread on this very subject. I am sure that it varies from shop to shop as it does in anything, but it seems that the people at a bike shop size you up "mentally" when you come in. If you are going to buy a hybrid or a comfort bike then you obviously aren't a serious cyclist and not worthy of a lot of fitting time. Quite a difference when I went in to buy a "road" bike. All of a sudden, how well it fit me seemed really important to them. Considering the fact that my first bike took me over 1000 miles in less than three months, it seems to me that proper fit might have been more important. Luckily for me, my background gave me enough knowledge to realize that the bike was a pretty good fit. For a lot of folks though, I imagine this is not the case.

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    GGE
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    MIchaelW--Yes, I realize that there should be some knee flex, but I'm comparing my leg extension on the hybrid to what I have on my mountain bike, which seems to be a perfect fit. My legs extend very well on it with just a little knee flex on the downstroke; it's very comfortable, and I feel I'm getting good power from my legs, unlike on the hybrid. (FWIW, the mountain bike has a 16-in frame; don't know if direct comparisons of frame sizes makes sense here, since the geometries are different.)

    I called the LBS; though he seemed surprised that the 15-in might be too small, he said that he has a 17.5-in in stock that I can try. If it is indeed a better fit, he'll make the exchange, so that's good. I'll just have to see if I think the 17.5 fits better or worse.

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    At 5'4", a Trek 15" 7series frame should in fact work fine, unless you have VERY long legs relative to your overall height. You might need a 17.5, but that's what I would ride in that bike (5'9" w/33" cycling inseam). I suspect the bike is supplied with a fairly short/standard seatpost; you certainly can fit a longer one and indeed I would try that first and see if you then like the overall fit (i.e. see if both the reach to the bars and saddle-to-bar drop are right, once you've got proper leg extension). The post 'min insertion' mark is there primarily to ensure that enough post remains in the frame to extend below the top tube/seat tube junction (to prevent excessive stress on the frame), and secondarily to ensure the post itself doesn't snap -- but with a good post you can run up to 9 or 10 inches out of the frame if required, so long as enough remains IN the frame. Good luck!

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    GGE
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    Thanks, Badger. If the 17.5-in is indeed too large (certainly possible), I will ask the guy at the LBS about trying a longer seatpost. When I was raising the seat, at one point I pulled the seatpost all the way out and it seemed pretty short to me, though I didn't actually measure it. The guy at the LBS seems really nice and helpful, so I'm not upset with them, just trying to get a fit I'm happy with.

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    I'm 5'8" with a ~30" inseam. I am riding a Trek 17.5 7.3FX with the seat post pulled up quite a bit. I know I wouldn't want the smaller frame, but don't think I'd want the bigger one either. See what happens at your LBS, maybe just another seat post will do the trick.

  13. #13
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    Everybody's proportions are different, but I can tell you that I am 5'4" and have owned a 17.5 inch Trek hybrid for years and it fits perfectly. Don't compromise; you'll regret it. Make that shop do the right thing.

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    GGE
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I rode a couple miles last night in order to really pay attention to the fit. I think a longer seatpost may do the trick, but I will explore that option and the larger frame with the LBS. I think they will be helpful, so I'm going to head there on Saturday. But I'm also wondering if a hybrid is really for me; it's hard to judge until you have the right fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGE
    Thanks for the responses everyone. I rode a couple miles last night in order to really pay attention to the fit. I think a longer seatpost may do the trick, but I will explore that option and the larger frame with the LBS. I think they will be helpful, so I'm going to head there on Saturday. But I'm also wondering if a hybrid is really for me; it's hard to judge until you have the right fit.

    I'm 5'6" short. 30" inseam and the Bianchi is a 15 1/2 frame. The Giant road bike is a 42Cms and the Tandem is a Large/ medium.

    Forget the tandem- as this does not apply, but Seat height, and bar height and reach, can be altered. What cannot is standover height and top bar length.

    I have just bought the giant road bike and I tried a 46cm frame. Reach was too far away and standover was a tad tight. I went for the 42 and seat is raised near the limit but I had to fit a slighly longer bar stem.

    The Bianchi is a mountain bike and Large frames are a No-No on this, Too many offs and a lower top bar is helpfull in saving a bit of pain. Even then- I tried the next size up and it was too large.

    Now Tandems are built differently and the stokers cockpit is restricted in Reach. This works different as it is difficult to extend a reach on a tandem without interfering with the pilot- so reach has to be right.

    Pics attached to show the bikes and you can see how I have set up the small frame to my height. May look stupid to have that much seat post showing- but it works for me. The pic of my suspension post on the Tandem is an unusual seat post, but I can assure you that even this post is well extended out of the frame.

    At your height- you probably have the right size frame. What you do not have is a proper fit. Get the LBS to sort the seat height- with a longer post if necessary- get the knee over the pedal position correct and then set the length you want by sorting the correct stem. I'll be honest and say that the LBS should have helped you on this right from the start, but now you know what is wrong- get the shop to sort the bike.
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    Good fit is essential - all kinds of problems will develop in your knees, back, etc if the bike doesn't fit. I'm 6'5" but have long legs: a proper frame for me would be a 66 cm which is only a custom build so my bikes (both of them) have long seatposts, seats with longer rails, barends & handlebar risers on them to get me to a comfortable fit that is good for at least a couple of hours in the saddle (with regular standing on the pedals).
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