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  1. #1
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    Can anybody tell me how effective this "fit calculator" is?

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...O_LINK=NOREDIR

    I bought a Wahoo about 5 or 6 years ago and I really wanted to trust my LBS since the next closest one is in Annapolis which is 30-35mins away and only sells Specialized. The guy that was in there seems to be the owner of the franchise because he's the only one there whenever I go in. He's slightly shorter than me with shorter legs. Anyway, he sold me the Wahoo with the claim that the 17.5" is what he rides and it felt about right when I test rode it but once I got it home and had time to really ride it, nothing felt right. He also didn't spend anytime to make any adjustments once he sold the bike. The bike became so uncomfortable that I sold it just after a month after I bought it(back hurt, felt like I was leaning forward too much, feet were coming off the pedals slightly, etc). I was more comfortable on the $100 k-mart special I had when I was 12!

    So, after doing some research and lurking through some forums, I came across the link above which seems to be fairly comprehensive enough to get me closer to what I "should" be looking at. I want to get back into riding again and I've been looking at 3 mountain bikes at around the same price range(hardrock sport disc 29, Trek Marlin, Trail 5 29). The strange thing is that some of the measurements put me on a 15.5" or Small and then the others put me at 17.5" or Medium size bikes.

    I know it's more about what is comfortable but what should I do when you're have trust issues with your LBS?

    Anyhow, if it helps, my measurements and what the above link spit out are below:

    Your Measurements
    Gender M
    Inseam 29 in
    Trunk 23.5 in
    Forearm 12 in
    Arm 23.75 in
    Thigh 23.25 in
    Lower Leg 21 in
    Sternal Notch 55 in
    Total Body Height 65.5 in

    Standover Height Range 27.7 - 28.3 inches
    Virtual Top Tube Length 22.1 - 22.5 inches
    Stem Length 8.6 - 10.2 cm
    BB-Saddle Position 64.4 - 65.9cm
    Saddle-Handlebar 48.4 - 50.0 cm

    Thanks for any help and advice!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Look for a bike shop that does a complete fit when you buy one of their bikes.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    The calculator seems to be taking account of the right things. But your experience of being "between sizes" is very common. Fitting systems work on averages, and the one thing you can be fairly sure of is that your proportions will vary from the average in one way or another.

    in general it is easier to adjust a smaller frame to fit you than a large one - if the frame is a shade too small, you can raise the saddle, put on a longer stem etc., whereas if the bike is too big by more than a small margin, it's too big.

    I'd make the 30 minute trip to the other bike shop and see if they will fit you. You don't have to buy one of their bikes if you don't want to, but you do need advice about what sort of size and set-up will work.
    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.

  4. #4
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    I've found that fit calculator to be fairly accurate. I would suggest you consider 26" mountain bikes instead of the 29er. I have the latter and although I'm a big guy its heavier wheels and tires are a liability climbing hills. I cringe when I see women and smaller people riding 29ers - an inappropriate bike choice in my opinion. Heavy tires and wheels are an exercise in frustration. My next "mountain bike" is going to be a drop-bar cyclocross with 35mm tires - that's the kind of 29er I like now.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 07-19-13 at 02:41 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    The calculator seems to be taking account of the right things. But your experience of being "between sizes" is very common. Fitting systems work on averages, and the one thing you can be fairly sure of is that your proportions will vary from the average in one way or another.

    in general it is easier to adjust a smaller frame to fit you than a large one - if the frame is a shade too small, you can raise the saddle, put on a longer stem etc., whereas if the bike is too big by more than a small margin, it's too big.

    I'd make the 30 minute trip to the other bike shop and see if they will fit you. You don't have to buy one of their bikes if you don't want to, but you do need advice about what sort of size and set-up will work.
    I stopped in the LBS again today on the way home and once again, the same guy was in there giving me the same thing about how 17.5" is the size he rides..."OH WAIT! If you like that Marlin! Here's this Rockhopper with hydraulic brakes that's on sale for $880! That upgrade alone will cost you another $400!" Really jackass?? I guess he forgot to mention that it was from 2011...

    I'll stop by the one that's half hour away. There's another one 45 min away too that sells more than just Specialized. My reasoning for sticking with Trek, Cannondale and Specialized is the fact that all of the LBS' within an hour sell these brands. If I want to get into other makes like Giant, Diamondback or GT, then I have to go more than an hour out and I'd like to stick with the LBS that I buy the bike from to also buy parts and service from them as well. The close LBS has just left such a bad taste in my mouth after today that I don't even want to buy a water bottle from him.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
    I've found that fit calculator to be fairly accurate. I would suggest you consider 26" mountain bikes instead of the 29er. I have the latter and although I'm a big guy its heavier wheels and tires are a liability climbing hills. I cringe when I see women and smaller people riding 29ers - an inappropriate bike choice in my opinion. Heavy tires and wheels are an exercise in frustration. My next "mountain bike" is going to be a drop-bar cyclocross with 35mm tires - that's the kind of 29er I like now.
    I have considered 26" bikes. I don't have a problem with them and I will more than likely try a few out at another shop once I get a chance. I like the Trek 4 series as well

  7. #7
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    today I tried 2 different rockhoppers, a small and a medium. The medium was I reaching WAY too far forward even though comfortable with pedal length but everything just felt perfect with small. The LBS insisted I try out the medium hardrock disc so I did. The reach felt nice but my legs were slightly over extended to be comfortable. The LBS adjusted the seat forward and everything fell in place. Rode it around the parking lot a little bit more and it felt even better. After talking with him, he said if I don't plan on climbing or dropping down any of the mountains around western MD then I should be happy with it. Which I don't. I only plan on doing the trails on the eastern shore and riding around close to my house with the kids. Anyone that knows the eastern shore knows its a fairly flat region. I probably should have mentioned this earlier.

    He offered it to me for $520 out the door and I took it. LBS cut 1.5" off the seat post, adjusted the seat back a hair, and tweaked the handlebars some. I just got back from riding it for around 30-45min up the street and I'm HIGHLY satisfied right now. I do have to get the kickstand off lol

    The hardrock disc might not have a lockout on the fork or hydraulic brakes but I don't anticipate going down the blue ridge mountains or the shenandoah. I'm only going to be doing some eastern shore trail riding on the weekends from time to time and riding the pavement with my kids. I still would like to get another set of wheels with more street friendly tires. I did some panic braking to help seat the brakes and the front and rear tire both just slide while on the pavement and I wasn't pushing it that hard. So if anybody has any suggestions on that, I'm all ears!

    Thanks again for everybody's help!

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