Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Is my bike too small?

    I got a 56cm caad10 and im 6 ft 1. I feel fine on my bike as its my first serious one but when I see myself on it it looks really small on me. The bike handles great but im wondering if im not utilizing my max potential because of some fit problem I dont know of. I dont feel like spending alot of money on a pro fit so im coming here. After some intense rides my right shoulder hurts and my back begins to hurt. Heres 2 pics of me riding on the hoods. I feel I should lower the seat and extended the stem.

    photo(1).JPGphoto(2).JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,793
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Um, no. DON'T lower the saddle.

    A few basic, "ballpark" measurements:

    1.) Sitting on the saddle comfortably, spin one pedal 'til it's as far from you as it can get; put your heel on it. If your leg is STRAIGHT, you're pretty close.
    2.) Level the pedals; from the front one, dangle a plumb-bob type weight from the front of your knee; it should be just behind the pedal's axle. Once again, that's pretty close.
    3.) Standing next to the bike, put your elbow against the front of the saddle; your fingertips should be brushing the back of the stem. Again, that's pretty close.

    Obviously, these are not exact, but most riders can benefit from getting in this 'ballpark'.

  3. #3
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    Your saddle is way too low, not too high.

    rgds, sreten.

  4. #4
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post

    3.) Standing next to the bike, put your elbow against the front of the saddle;
    your fingertips should be brushing the back of the stem. Again, that's pretty close.

    Obviously, these are not exact, but most riders can benefit from getting in this 'ballpark'.
    Hi,

    That depends on stem length and is only true for very short stems.

    The more apposite is the gap between a correctly adjusted saddle,
    elbow on, and the top of the bars, in my case near the classic
    70mm and my fingers are miles past the back of the stem.

    rgds, sreten.

  5. #5
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post

    3.) Standing next to the bike, put your elbow against the front of the saddle;
    your fingertips should be brushing the back of the stem. Again, that's pretty close.

    Obviously, these are not exact, but most riders can benefit from getting in this 'ballpark'.
    Hi,

    That depends on stem length and is only true for very short stems.

    The more apposite is the gap between a correctly adjusted saddle,
    elbow on, and the top of the bars, in my case near the classic
    70mm and my fingers are miles past the back of the stem.

    rgds, sreten.

  6. #6
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    mordor
    My Bikes
    2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro
    Posts
    659
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also when takin pictures:
    A picture taken from an high position with a short focal length (camera phone, normal digital camera or dslr with a short lens) will distort the proportions so that the frame will look tiny. Also larger riders look huge with the 700c wheels when compared to smaller riders and that too has an effect.

    Don't worry how the bike looks, if the angles are right and the bike feels good then the bike fits.
    90 degree (+- 2 degrees)arm/torso angle with a slight bend on the elbows while in the hoods of the bike
    25/35 degree knee angle when crankarm is paraller with seat tube and foot is in natural downstroke position
    45-20 degree back angle whdn on hoods. This is about preference since some like it highdr and some like it lower.

    The plumb bomb from knee is ok, but boils down to preference. Some like to be behind "kops" and some like to be ahead of kops.
    Forward = use quads more (like triathletes)
    Back= use hamstrings more (lots of slow spinning torque, climer thing)
    Your middle (might be just behind dead on center or just ahead of kops) = use the majority of your leg muscles in different parts of the pedal stroke (best way if you ask me, but try out different things and see what you like)

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,793
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi,

    That depends on stem length and is only true for very short stems.

    The more apposite is the gap between a correctly adjusted saddle,
    elbow on, and the top of the bars, in my case near the classic
    70mm and my fingers are miles past the back of the stem.

    rgds, sreten.
    Dude, you need to read more; stem length has no effect on your fingers touching the BACK of it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    mordor
    My Bikes
    2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro
    Posts
    659
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Dude, you need to read more; stem length has no effect on your fingers touching the BACK of it.
    No, but the technique comes from a time when stems were shorter (70-100mm)
    Imagine your fingers brushing the back of the stem when the stem is for example 80mm long and the bike fits like a glove.
    Then put a 130mm stem on the bike.

    That whole fingers brushing the back of the stem method is in my opinion a extremely crude ball park check and cannot, i repeat, cannot be used for further fitting than seeing if you should mount the bike at the shop.
    Mirrors are cool for fitting, because then you can actually see how you look on the bike, and you don't have to use all these "bar covers hub" mumbo jumbo which can be as wrong as they are right (different body proportions)

    And to the OP
    I think your reach is fine, but saddle is too low

  9. #9
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Dude, you need to read more;
    Hi, and you need to learn how to read more, rgds, sreten.

    You might understand what I said and what I didn't say.
    Last edited by sreten; 07-05-13 at 02:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,793
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice try -- wrong guy.

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,423
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OP, I'd say the bike looks to be on the small side, yes. And I'd agree that your seat looks too low.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,793
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
    No, but the technique comes from a time when stems were shorter (70-100mm)
    Imagine your fingers brushing the back of the stem when the stem is for example 80mm long and the bike fits like a glove.
    Then put a 130mm stem on the bike.

    That whole fingers brushing the back of the stem method is in my opinion a extremely crude ball park check and cannot, i repeat, cannot be used for further fitting than seeing if you should mount the bike at the shop.
    Mirrors are cool for fitting, because then you can actually see how you look on the bike, and you don't have to use all these "bar covers hub" mumbo jumbo which can be as wrong as they are right (different body proportions)

    And to the OP
    I think your reach is fine, but saddle is too low
    That "BALLPARK" measurement has been around for quite a few years; also, I didn't invent it, but I found it to be handy. Calling it 'extremely crude' only labels you as an elitist who could easily be well served by ballpark measurements IF you didn't know you fitting was being done with them.

    (NOTE: We DO agree on the "bar covers hub" thing; I have never had a bike where that applied -- I'm going to assume you weren't ascribing that sort of thinking to me.)

  13. #13
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Nice try -- wrong guy.
    Hi, More meaningless observation, rgds, sreten.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Middle Earth
    My Bikes
    A lot of old bikes and a few new ones
    Posts
    3,567
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Hi, More meaningless observation, rgds, sreten.
    I guess you'll keep this up for as long as it makes you happy but you really don't need to spam the OP's thread like this.

    In any case (to the OP), fitting a bike turns on a lot of rules of thumb derived primarily from long observation of racers. The problem is that these are rules of thumb since no two people have the same measurements. That said, these rules are a good starting place and an experienced bike fitter can give you some ideas by how you look on the bike. Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Cycling has a lot of good advice on bike fitting. You can get a used copy from Amazon for $4, http://www.amazon.com/Greg-lemonds-c...dp/0399515941; you can probably get it from your library for less.

  15. #15
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Brighton UK
    My Bikes
    20" Folder, Road Bike
    Posts
    1,664
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    I guess you'll keep this up for as long as it makes you happy
    but you really don't need to spam the OP's thread like this.
    Hi, I think your putting the cart before the horse, and what that entails, rgds, sreten.

  16. #16
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    mordor
    My Bikes
    2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro
    Posts
    659
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    That "BALLPARK" measurement has been around for quite a few years; also, I didn't invent it, but I found it to be handy. Calling it 'extremely crude' only labels you as an elitist who could easily be well served by ballpark measurements IF you didn't know you fitting was being done with them.

    (NOTE: We DO agree on the "bar covers hub" thing; I have never had a bike where that applied -- I'm going to assume you weren't ascribing that sort of thinking to me.)
    The reason I call almost all of these rule of thumb fitting measurements crude is that they only rarely nowdays work spot on. There are just too many variables at work.
    No one said bike fitting is easy, but it is quite simple to get a bike that is in the ballpark right size which you can then tune on when you get to ride it and start getting a feel about what you like.

    For example my road bike
    When I do the elbow against saddle fingers brushing the back of the stem, my little finger rests on the top cap. I could get a frame that was 2cm longer and a stem that was 2cm shorter, but that would eff up the handling. So it's a 59cm top tube and a 13cm stem. With my mountain bike my fingers are miles from even touching the back of the stem. Again I could get a shorter frame and longer stem, but that would once again eff up the handling. 67cm top tube and a 7cm stem.

    Now I've realized that you have a mountain bike and still you advocate the elbow finger method, even for roadies (for whom it was actually developed). there are some major problems with that.
    Firstly a mountain bike reach consists of the top tube and stem (saddle setback, if that's major). With a road bike it consists of the top tube, stem AND handlebar reach, because the main riding position is in the hoods and that is where you want your optimal reach to be. If you have a mountain bike spot on with this method for road riding, then your road bike is going to be WAY off, like 7-9cm off. That's because you're not taking the different aspects of the bikes in to the equation.

    Good thing is, that because it is such a crude method and should never ever be used for advanced fitting, in the bike store you can get the ballpark right size bike with this particular method and then you can start the actual fitting.
    As we are mainly speaking about road bikes, the bike reach can be adjusted with both stems and handlebars. 1-2cm with different handlebars and 6cm with stems (80-140mm). Also standover is normally not a problem nowdays since the average road seatpost is 350mm long so there is room for plenty of adjustment.

    So to sum it all up, why the old method of elbow fingertip measuring doesn't work nowdays
    Back in the day the riding position was different. They didn't have the brake hoods we have nowdays.
    People are differently proportioned. Some have long backs and short arms vice versa. That method only takes in the forearm length. Not even torso or the whole arm
    It doesn't take in to consideration large amounts of setback or the requirements of such. This is why its a sucky method for tall riders.
    It is ballpark, it is crude, there is nothing scientific about it and should never used in further fitting (oh my gods if someone were to use it for setting setback or actual stem length)

    Now that's not to say all of the old methods are bad. The inseam times x methods for saddle height are pretty good, as is the pedaling with the heels not rocking your hips. But again studies have shown that the optimal position for power is the 25-35 degree angle of the leg when the leg is fully extended. The old methods do not always get there, but sometimes they do. It depends on leg proportions, setback etc.

    A mirror and a goniometer are pretty good tools for every DIY bike fitter. Also a helping GF always helps too.
    Last edited by elcruxio; 07-07-13 at 02:01 AM.

  17. #17
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    4,793
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tell ya what, pal -- contact Tom and see about taking this "Ombudsman" position for this subforum. Since you feel like your knowledge is so much more valuable and refined than mine. I'm out.

  18. #18
    Thread Killer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    3,465
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @Carl1, based on what I can glean from the poor pictures, I would agree with others who've said your seat looks too low, and I would also say it looks like you could use a longer stem if not a larger frame with longer top tube, and presuming you'd like to get a more aero position, a lower bar position.

    But yeah, you look a little scrunched up, which I'd think that while it may seem comfy now, will reveal limitations as you ride more aggressively. One can ride anything, but they start putting down real power, over long distances, and want to do things like attack climbs or sprint all-out, the situation changes dramatically.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •