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Old 01-01-09, 02:18 PM   #1
ecrider
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What to do with new bike

I got a new Trek FX 7.1 bike for Christmas because my 20-year-old road bike had seen its best days and I wanted to ride in a more upright position. I've just started riding more frequently again after giving up jogging.

I like the bike just fine but I'm thinking now that maybe it's a size too small. It's a 17.5 inch bike and I'm about 5' 11" with a 32 pant inseam. I can adjust the seat to the right height but I've noticed that I want to sit farther back than than the seat is willing to go. I've made all the adjustments I can make.

I don't know my LBS's return policy but I don't think they'd let me trade it in at this point. I'm wondering if I can get another saddle that sits further back on the stem. That would do the trick. Does anyone have any recommendations before I go back to the bike store? Right now, my heinie suffers after about 10 miles, it's just not in the right position on the bike.
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Old 01-01-09, 02:33 PM   #2
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If I were in your shoes I'd go back to the bike shop. They should be able to help you look at other alternatives, such as:

- seatpost with a different setback for the saddle
- change the stem length
- sometimes even different saddles allow for different ranges in adjustment
- trade out the bike for zero or very small cost


A "returning rider" is a good cu$tomer for a local bike shop. They ought to be very happy to work with you.

If they do end up selling you new parts they ought to give you a discount on the parts and/or take back the original parts for some portion of their value.
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Old 01-01-09, 02:59 PM   #3
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I'm 5' 7.5" with a pant inseam of 28.5" and the Trek FX in the 17.5" size fits me perfectly. My 2000 Trek 7.6 FX is a 17.5" and I've test ridden the 7.5 FX and 7.7 FX in the 17.5".

While these hybrid sizes do have a wide fit range, if I were your size, I would certainly try out a 20".

Most of the bike shops around here will give full trade-in for at least 30 days.

I would go back, state your concerns, inquire about their trade-back policy, and test ride a 20".

Otherwise you will need to look at things like a set-back seat post and longer stems.
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Old 01-01-09, 04:36 PM   #4
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Before you spend money on a new seat post, have you set the saddle all the way back in your current seat post? If not, you'd be surprised what a difference an adjustment like a 1/2 inch makes.
I usually ride a 54 to 56 cm size road frame. However, I came across a 93 Bianchi Campione that I just had to own. I changed out the quill stem, pushed the saddle back and made the bike "grow" to fit me. I'm sure you can do the same with your Trek.
Now shrinking a bike is a different story, I've never figured that one out.
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Old 01-01-09, 04:44 PM   #5
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I ride a Trek 7500 17.5" and I have the same measurements as you. When I got the bike a few years ago I was sure I should have gotten the next size up, too. LBS didn't do anything but adjust the seat height. They're now under new ownership and I think I know part of the reason why. After some fiddling, I have the bike where I like it and I feel it is the right size. However, I had more adjustments to make than the FX offers (or so it appears).

I would take it back. At least test ride the next larger size to see if a significantly better fit. Work with someone at the shop who seems to know what they're doing to see how to get the fit right.

One thing to note is that the more upright position is going to put more weight on your heinie so that's what's going to get sore for a while. Be aware that the feel of a hybrid is different than a road bike, especially (from what I understand) an older one. I expected to be much more layed out based on experience with road bikes from the 70's and 80's. That's definitely not the case on my hybrid.

You probably can move the saddle on the rails a bit to get you further back, but watch out for where your knees are in relation to the pedals. Padded shorts are good. Maybe a different saddle.

My guess is that the 17.5 is probably the right size, but the next size up might feel more familiar at first.
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Old 01-01-09, 06:30 PM   #6
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What happened at the new bike fitting?

HI,
Most really good bike shops will not let you leave without a minor tweak and then want you back for a 30 min ride on the machine so they can check for angles, height,fit.
I ve had one bike shop say they can tweak nearly any bike within reason to a perfect fit if its not to big.
So thats my question what the heck did they do on the fit day, most bike shops charge for a fit if you don't buy the bike from them but if you do buy from them they should really want you to be happy, cause most bike nuts trade up almost yearly..
Doug
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Old 01-01-09, 06:38 PM   #7
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The bike is to small for you. You need something around 19-21" depending on your riding. Go back to the LBS and work something out on getting the right size, even if it cost you some extra bucks.
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Old 01-01-09, 07:47 PM   #8
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Thanks. I wanted to hear from you before going back to the LBS. It seems their customer service varies, according to who is waiting on you. There were several guys who are very good, but the assistant manager seemed kinda cranky. He was the one who got the bike out the door without asking about the fit. Of course, it was during the Christmas rush and that could account for it. I do feel bad about taking out the 20 on a test ride before making a decision, but, you know, I only seem to learn from my mistakes.

I really appreciate the feedback. This is a great forum.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:49 PM   #9
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Given all of my test riding (have test ridden something like 80 bikes, of many types and sizes), I would estimate that your best size in a mountain bike / hybrid would be around 19". Although this can vary as not all 19" bikes have the same top tube or standover measurements. These hybrid frames are designed to fit a wide range, so their 20" would cover the 19"-21" range. So I think you would be closer to fitting their 20" frame than the 17.5". But this could come down to which one feels best to you. Some people like a bike that is a bit smaller.

Their 17.5" hybrid is roughly equivalent to a 52-54cm road bike size, which would also tend to be small for someone who is 5'11" w/32" inseam, unless you have shorter than normal arms for your height. With "normal" proportions, a person who is 5'11" will tend to fit a 57-58cm road bike.

I would think you would have to have a lot of seat post exposed to get your saddle into the right position on the 17.5" frame, given that your legs are 3"-3.5" longer than mine and I have my seat up a few inches on my 17.5".

If you had the seat adjusted to the correct height on both the 17.5" and 20", it would be the same distance from the ground. However the handlebars would be lower and closer on the 17.5". It is left to you to determine which feels best.
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Old 01-01-09, 09:40 PM   #10
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I am also 5'7" with a 28" inseam and I have a 17" frame on both of my bikes. I am surprised that you didn't have more attention to what size would be the best fit for you at the LBS. I'm sorry but I feel that no matter how busy a shop is they should spend the time with you for a propper fit. I've read a hundred posts here and on other boards where people are saying "don't buy new bikes on line, you need to be professionally fit and serviced so buy your bikes from a LBS." I feel your bike is too small for you and I don't blame you, I blame the people that sold it to you.
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Old 01-02-09, 12:07 AM   #11
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I'm about 1/2" taller than you with about the same pants inseam. By the way, it is much more usefull to give your true inseam or pubic bone height than your pants inseam when discussing bike fit. This is the height from the floor to a hard hit on bone between your legs. I wear pants with a 32" inseam and my pubic bone height is 34".

Anyway, my best fit on MTBs or hybrids is on bikes with 19" nominal frames. But an 18" frame fits me better than a 20". I don't know how your bikes fit you, but it may be about the same.

Your LBS needs to work with you to get you properly fit on a bike. The answer might be the larger frame, but it might not. You may be able to use a different stem to place your hands further forward. A seatpost with more setback or a saddle with longer rails may put you in a more comfortable seating position. There's more than one way to skin a cat. From the little I know about the transaction, I would say that you and the LBS share responsibility for your current situation and so both of you you should bear part of the cost of making it right. If it comes to swapping parts, you should be able to get upgraded parts that fit for a good discount (like 20% to 30%) below normal retail. If it comes to changing bikes, it will depend on how much you have ridden the bike, whether any cosmetic damage has occurred and whether there is any difference in the dealer's cost in getting the bike now compared to what it cost them when they got the one you have now. But it shouldn't cost you a lot.

Good luck getting things worked out. At least you have learned a lesson.
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Old 01-02-09, 02:04 AM   #12
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Sounds as though the LBS have taken your inseam and said- that is the size for you with standover height.

I don't know about other members here but it will not matter what the s/o height is once I am riding the bike. My feet wont touch the ground when seated on the saddle. So if I get a bike with s/o height that is correct for me from the spec sheets- it will not fit in other places. I have an inseam of 30" and this should equate to somewhere around an 18 to 20" frame. So why do I ride a 15" mountain bike? Because it's comfortable for the use. Road bikes and I am on a 51cm (20") and that is comfortable- but the Tandem is a Large front and medium rear position and that is BIG. I can ride in either position and the only thing I have noticed is that landings are a long way down.

Most frame sizes can be adapted a bit to accomodate a different size rider- but if you are unhappy about the fit- Get the LBS to help sort it out.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djnzlab1 View Post
HI,
Most really good bike shops will not let you leave without a minor tweak and then want you back for a 30 min ride on the machine so they can check for angles, height,fit.
<hijack>

When I bought my first decent bike (Trek 7500) 5 years ago it was also my first experience in dealing with a dedicated bike shop (as opposed to a department store). I had no idea about different frame sizes, fit, etc. Shame on me for not finding out before, but shame on the LBS for not working to fit me, too! Even when I took my 17.5" back to comment that it might be too small, they just did a good job of convincing and never offered to work on the fit with me. It ended up being an okay fit, but not with their help. They've changed ownership, but still seem to have the same attitude toward customer service.

I have targeted $1200 to buy a decent (first) road bike this year. My first step this time is going to be finding the right place to do business with!

</hijack>
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Old 01-02-09, 11:21 AM   #14
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Update: I took my bike in to my LBS today and do a proper fitting. After observing my riding posture on the machine, they raised the seat slightly higher and turned the bike seat downward slightly. They also ordered a longer stem since I have a tendency to go over the seat in the riding position. They don't think it's the bike size. I'll let you know how it goes after they install the stem.
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Old 01-02-09, 04:46 PM   #15
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I found Trek's own recommended sizing chart. Although as in any bike sizing chart, it isn't absolute as people have different proportions:

http://www.trekbikes.com/faq/questio...?questionid=33

They recommend 19.5" to 21" on a hybrid for someone who is 5'11"
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Old 01-02-09, 06:35 PM   #16
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If the bike shop fitted you, and they fitted you wrong, they should get you the size that fits. End of story.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:45 PM   #17
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When I bought my first nice road bike (Sequioa) I was at the LBS almost an hour after they had closed, all the time 2 guys working with me to make sure the bike fit me proper. When I first went in the store and finally decided on the model of bike I wanted to purchase, the salesman guessed at a size that he thought was my size. This is the one I test rode. After hooking me up to their computer and taking all kinds of measurements they felt that I needed a smaller size than they originally had guessed at. The fit of the bike is great. This is why I went to a local shop. I expect this kind of service and so should anyone buying from them.
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Old 01-03-09, 06:31 PM   #18
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Bike is too small for you. You should be more like a 19 inch or more (probably more).
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