Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-14-13, 05:21 PM   #1
TiHabanero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dealer won't commit to a fit

Reading an old thread I was shocked to see a Specialized dealer telling a customer to choose between two frame sizes. If the dealer is not able to make that determination for you, it is his specialty, I would find a different bike shop.
TiHabanero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 05:36 PM   #2
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,606
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
There are multiple frame sizes in my stable. The bike dealer can't always know what will work out best for the customer forever.

Besides, frame size != fit.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 06:19 PM   #3
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,390
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
I have several bikes of various sizes .. from a 54 to a 58,

I have futzed over the bits and adjutments so they're Fit for Purpose .

Back for the basic shop floor sales question .. What do you want this bike for?

State your purpose app.

flipped and slammed stem, which bike is Faster (?) kind of dude, or sit up and look around, in comfort?

'size' is pretty much seat tube length , other stuff changes proportionally..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 08:45 PM   #4
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Bikes:
Posts: 3,700
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
IF you don't fit on either bike and have no other choice, you have a choice.

You have the choice to buy somewhere/something else. The dealer isn't a mindreader or a magician though.

If you are truly unsure then it is not time to buy. Learn more first.
__________________
Dear banned sock puppets...stop taking all the potential great ID names from future newbies?
Rollfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 09:02 PM   #5
koolerb
Senior Member
 
koolerb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Bikes: Giant Defy 1, and some others
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's a preference thing. I see guys all the time with a mile a seat post showing and I just think OMG, borrowing your kids bike today? I tend to lean toward the larger side of my "fit window." Some guys go the other way. Ride what feels right to you.
koolerb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 08:57 PM   #6
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée
Posts: 7,882
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
It's a preference thing. Ride what feels right to you.
Yeah you could do that, or, you could make a rational decision.
chaadster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 08:13 AM   #7
cpeyron
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Size is not seat tube length!!!! Seat tube length is almost the least important measurement as long as there is a enough adjustment to accommodate the seat height you need. The top length is by far the most important measurement. You only have about a 20-30mm (30mm is pushing it) window to play with on a stem to have the bike handle properly. With a stem that is to long or to short, the weight distribution and leverage can get real goofy. The funny thing, both scenarios can cause similar symptoms of a twitchy feeling bike. Let's face it, looks plays a part in this as well. Example, my ideal top length is 55cm. Depending on other factors(head tube and seat tube angle, head tube length) a 10-11mm stem is ideal for me. That would give me an overall reach of 65-66cm. I would not want to ride a 60cm frame that has a 58cm top tube and an 80mm stem or a 52cm frame with a 51cm top tube and a 15cm stem. Both of these scenarios will not only produce poor handling but the handlebars to seat height measurement will be terrible on both examples as well. Both of theses set ups will look equally abnormal. There are so many more factors that come into play here, I could type for hours on this subject. This is just basic bike fit 101 here. I'd say that the OP's best option would be to find a different shop and look at different brands. I personally fit better on a Cannondale than I do a Trek. They are both great bikes but they fit different. The problem with bike sizing is this: you can have 4 bikes that all say that they are 56cm.

1) center of BB to center of top tube
2) center of BB to top of top tube
3) center of BB to top of seat tube
4) center of BB to a virtual point on frame with sloping top tube.

These may all claim to be a 56cm frame but it pretty clear that these bikes are not all going to be the same. Now throw this in there, All the top tubes can be different lengths. We now have 4 frames that claim that they're 56cm but all fit completely different. IMHO, frame size should be listed by the top length.

As far as you having bikes all they way from a 54cm - 58cm, unless that 54cm is a cyclocross bike, something in your line up doesn't fit you properly and you a have stem length, seat position, etc, that is less than ideal. I have bikes that are 54-56cm that fit similar but 54-58cm is a huge span. I coulb ride a 58 in some cases but I would probably end up with short stem, seatpost stuffed down into the frame and handlebars that are higher than I'd like.




Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I have several bikes of various sizes .. from a 54 to a 58,

I have futzed over the bits and adjutments so they're Fit for Purpose .

Back for the basic shop floor sales question .. What do you want this bike for?

State your purpose app.

flipped and slammed stem, which bike is Faster (?) kind of dude, or sit up and look around, in comfort?

'size' is pretty much seat tube length , other stuff changes proportionally..
cpeyron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 04:25 PM   #8
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,390
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
just that ["size"] is the inventory shorthand for out of the Box, Bikes ..

Other than that.. Hire custom.. then You get to pick ..

other than that read the Geometry dimension charts .. pick by virtual top tube length
if that seems a better scheme for You..

my WTR Koga-Miyata Trekking bike is a 54-55, RB1 a 56-565, Pinarello Cross a 57-57

hand built DIY frame a 58-60 .[went long so no TCO with Mudguards] not showing much seatpost .

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-16-13 at 04:35 PM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 07:31 PM   #9
jyl
Senior Member
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,954
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
A dealer could explain to a customer that the 54 cm would have these advantages and the 56 cm those other advantages, so the customer can decide what is important. But he shouldn't simply say they are both okay, you pick.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 09:52 PM   #10
cyclezen
OM boy
 
cyclezen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Goleta CA
Bikes: a bunch
Posts: 3,105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
what are we tawkin about?
like my mother said when I wuz a yoot, "We're buying the size 12, you'll grow into it!"
cyclezen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 11:13 PM   #11
cpeyron
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I must apologize. I mis-read your post. When you said that "size is pretty much seat tube length", I mis-interpreted what you meant. Yes, I agree, size is basically seat tube length that is stated on the box. I thought that you where stating that seat tube length is the most important measurement and you just adjust accordingly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
just that ["size"] is the inventory shorthand for out of the Box, Bikes ..

Other than that.. Hire custom.. then You get to pick ..

other than that read the Geometry dimension charts .. pick by virtual top tube length
if that seems a better scheme for You..

my WTR Koga-Miyata Trekking bike is a 54-55, RB1 a 56-565, Pinarello Cross a 57-57

hand built DIY frame a 58-60 .[went long so no TCO with Mudguards] not showing much seatpost .
cpeyron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 08:23 AM   #12
Don in Austin
Don from Austin Texas
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Bikes: Schwinn S25 "department store crap" FS MTB, home-made CF 26" hybrid, CF road bike with straight bar, various wierd frankenbikes
Posts: 1,181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Reading an old thread I was shocked to see a Specialized dealer telling a customer to choose between two frame sizes. If the dealer is not able to make that determination for you, it is his specialty, I would find a different bike shop.
Somebody might be between the two sizes. Likely either one could accommodate the rider with proper stem, spacers and seat position. That is why those adjustments exist. If have two bikes of very different frame size both of which I am comfortable on.
Don in Austin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 09:13 AM   #13
TiHabanero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Let me clarify myself. In all the years (30+) I sold bikes at retail, never did a customer not ask the question, "What size do you recommend"? At that point I have been given a clear directive to choose for the customer as they haven't the expertise to do so themselves. I always recommended a frame size, never did I tell someone to make a choice between two sizes. They came to my shop for my expertise and guidance, and to trust my ability to do my job correctly.
TiHabanero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 03:28 PM   #14
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,606
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Let me clarify myself. In all the years (30+) I sold bikes at retail, never did a customer not ask the question, "What size do you recommend"? At that point I have been given a clear directive to choose for the customer as they haven't the expertise to do so themselves. I always recommended a frame size, never did I tell someone to make a choice between two sizes. They came to my shop for my expertise and guidance, and to trust my ability to do my job correctly.
Old-school LBS workers are used to telling customers everything they should do (even to the point of declining to sell a bike or part), whether it's an informed opinion or not. That arrogance is quaint in its own way, but one of many reasons for the decline of brick-and-mortar bike shops.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 03:53 PM   #15
TiHabanero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Surely you jest. The decline of brick and mortar store fronts is squarely related to the internet. As for a quaint attitude towards serving the customer and meeting his needs I am taken aback. "I like that bike, which size should I have?" is a direct question deserving a direct answer, not a wish wash answer, such as, "Well, they both fit, pick the one you think feels best". Are you kidding me? I can get that same level of inaccurate sizing from the internet!! You give them the size and why it is correct.
I guess I am old school. Customer care and service were always #1 on the list. I viewed myself as a professional, not a sales clerk.
TiHabanero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 04:13 PM   #16
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,390
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
get the 42 .. its everything..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 04:17 PM   #17
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,606
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
If both sizes work equally, then I would have the customer try both of them again since we both know that either one of them could be set up to fit right. If asking the customer what feels best is foreign to you, then I don't know what to say.

Internet stores not only have lower prices, but they are often more approachable to people who don't want to go into a bike shop and feel judged or pressured. The rest of the retail world has moved toward empowering the customer, respecting their experiences, and listening to them -- the better bike shops do this, but many are stuck in the past and are no better than a 70's car dealership.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 04:56 PM   #18
TiHabanero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is obvious I have not explained myself clearly. Perhaps my training as a fitter has skewed my vision and approach or the way I explain things. When we do a pro level fit, we set up the size cycle to a specific frame size based on body measurements. Top tube first, seat tube second. From that we make adjustments to the movable parts, ie, saddle, eat post, stem, bars, pedals, cranks with input from the rider and solid measurements (such as cleat position and bend in knee). The frame size is not in question, only the "fit" on that particular frame is. Experienced bike shop personnel know the fitting "key points" are saddle height, hip position, and cleat placement for lower body, and shoulder position, head tilt, and arm extension for the upper body. There are parameters to work within to allow adjustments up or down in the future based on intended use.
All of this is based on a question asked in the pre-fit interview or in the initial conversation with the customer if no fit is involved: How do you intend to use the bike?
To leave the decision up to the customer is not professional unless accompanied by an explanation of why you cannot specify a specific frame size. In my opinion if you really don't know what size would work best, that should be a warning sign to someone looking to an expert for guidance. I wouldn't accept if from my tailor, and I wouldn't accept if from a bike shop.
TiHabanero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-13, 07:10 PM   #19
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,606
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Ah, I feel better about your attention to customers now.

I guess it's hard to make a good judgment of the other shop without knowing more of the story -- some shops just are more casual than others (and their customers dig that) -- and it could very well be that they were sloppy and risked losing a sale thanks to not giving a concrete answer.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-13, 10:17 AM   #20
TiHabanero
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 759
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All is good, my friend. My communication skills can be lacking at time. I love cycling and want others to love it as well.
TiHabanero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-13, 11:26 AM   #21
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,390
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
Its a customer base that may be a lot different ,

big city and people are the ones wanting the premium top of the range roadie racing bikes ,

are a lot different than a small town and having people buying a MTB and a rifle rack for the handlebars ,

or a 'fat bike' to ride down the Beach carrying a 'Clam Gun' and a shovel and Bucket.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-13, 07:40 PM   #22
koolerb
Senior Member
 
koolerb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Bikes: Giant Defy 1, and some others
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yeah you could do that, or, you could make a rational decision.
Yeah, nothing rational about a bike feeling right. The customer only has to live it.
koolerb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-13, 06:03 PM   #23
gsa103
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Bikes: Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 144 Post(s)
There's a lot of missing information here.

Considering the follow two cases:
1) Bike A is a 56 cm Giant and Bike B is a 58 cm Specialized. Customer asks for a size. Bike shop can't give a good answer, because its an individual thing.

2) Customer is ordering a Specialized Tarmac. Asks the shop if they would recommend he get the 56cm or the 58cm. In this case, the bike shop should provide a clear answer.

When comparing different bikes any LBS has to judge advising the customer versus the perception that they're trying to upsell a bike. This is the more common case, since the shops typically don't have every model in every size.
gsa103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-13, 03:32 AM   #24
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Bikes:
Posts: 3,700
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
In the end somebody missed a big car lot and found a bike shop, I think
__________________
Dear banned sock puppets...stop taking all the potential great ID names from future newbies?
Rollfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-13, 01:07 PM   #25
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Bikes: '88 Fuji Saratoga, '12 Jamis Sputnik, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite
Posts: 3,856
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
I've been wearing suits to work for 30 years. I was fitted for a mens suit recently. I had walked into the store with a clear idea of my size, even to the point of dogmatism. The salesman listened patiently, let me try on what I specified, and then asked if I would like to try something that might fit better. Because of my chest to waist "drop", there would be substantial tailoring involved.

He showed me separates (purchased by size separately, but matching) and showed me that my own ideas (based on traditionally cut western suits) were off. I wound up buying two suits, and the separate parts were chosen to minimize the amount of needed tailoring (thus saving me money on the back end). I was satisfied and glad for his expertise. How does this relate to bikes? I have no idea...
Phil_gretz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:39 PM.