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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.

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Old 01-01-14, 11:03 AM   #1
Beatofmyowndrum
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Is this the bike for me?

Hi Everyone! I'm a newbie looking into buying a bike for the first time since I was a kid. This all started with me just wanting to start bike riding again and has quickly became an all consuming thing . Anyhow, I test rode a 2013 Trek 1.1c the other day that was on sale and I'm just as confused as ever. I'm 5'11" and the bike is a 58 cm frame and it felt ok (not that I know what to look for) BUT my back started hurting during the test ride which wasn't long (10-15 mins). The seat was a decent amount higher than the handlebars but I was told that could be fixed with a new stem. It could also be that the seat was hard.

But if my back hurts during a test ride does that mean this isn't the bike for me? Or do I need to modify it to make it for me? Is that what most people do or does the bike just "fit"?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-01-14, 11:23 AM   #2
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From the details given, thinking that the bike is probably a size too big, for your height, thinking a 56cm would be a better starting point.

For the saddle position you mention, this sound wrong, looking at the Trek website, this indicates that the saddle is meant to be slightly above the stem, but not a lot, due to the design of the bike/frame as it has a longer headtube than on a more race oriented bike. http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bike..._1_h2_compact/ & sizing info http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/mode...1_1_h2_compact

Would be looking at finding another LBS with the bike in to get their advice, as the one you have been too don't seem to be giving that great advice. Wouldn't expect you back to hurt after such a short time either.

For the saddle, were you using cycling short (padded)? as most are hard if you aren't.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:29 AM   #3
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"But if my back hurts during a test ride does that mean this isn't the bike for me? "

Means you are out of shape.

Takes a few hundred miles to adjust.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:33 AM   #4
Beatofmyowndrum
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Well I have a 36" inseam so some bike shops try to put me on something even larger like a 60-61 cm but then I'm really stretched. Unfortunately, for me I'm all legs (buying pants is very tedious).

I wasn't wearing cycling shorts and I know a lot of new riders complain about the saddle but it wasn't my butt that hurt but my back, which I found concerning (but I am out of shape).

Thanks on the advice on the other shop though, I hadn't thought about that.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:05 PM   #5
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Thanks 10 Wheels, I thought that may be the case. I haven't worked out in who knows how long and my core is very weak. So I shouldn't be worried that it's the wrong fit? I guess if I get it I'll just get the bars raised so that I'm not bent so far over while just starting out.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:19 PM   #6
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Get fitted for size first before making any buying decisions. If the store where you test rode the Trek is not able to, find a shop that can fit you properly. Most high end type shops will have staff members that can take your body measurements and suggest a bike that will need minimal adjustment to get you comfortable.

A proper fit will compensate for your long legs-short torso body type.

Also determine if you really want a road bike with drop bars or would be better off with a flat bar bike. The Trek 1.1 is their H2 geometry, which is supposed to be the more relaxed geometry.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:37 PM   #7
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As you're learning, people who aren't of average proportions can pose a fitting challenge. If your legs are disproportionately long you have two options.

Choose a larger frame and attempt to accommodate the too long top tube with a short stem.

Or,

Choose a slightly smaller frame, which will have a shorter top tube. Use more seatpost extension to accommodate leg length. But, need to flip the stem angle positive or even look for a steeper stem to achieve appropriate fit.

Which is the better option will depend on a number of factors, including your age, flexibility, strength, intentions, etc. But, generally, if you're getting the bike for purely recreational purposes and don't have any competitive intentions I would hedge toward the larger frame and shorter stem. Mostly for the decreased saddle to bar drop. This is more or less how Mrs. Fred and a number of our friends have been fit. Frames that are a size up from what might otherwise be ideal but with 60-90mm stems.
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Old 01-01-14, 04:32 PM   #8
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Choose a larger frame and attempt to accommodate the too long top tube with a short stem.

But, generally, if you're getting the bike for purely recreational purposes and don't have any competitive intentions I would hedge toward the larger frame and shorter stem. Mostly for the decreased saddle to bar drop. This is more or less how Mrs. Fred and a number of our friends have been fit. Frames that are a size up from what might otherwise be ideal but with 60-90mm stems.



Thanks everyone and I'll definitely keep this in mind. At least I know not to be surprised if any bike I choose needs some adjusting out the door. Someone else fitted me this way on a 61cm frame and while my reach was horrible it it didn't feel bad (again a very short ride), and I might go this way. But I might try a flat bar until my fitness level increases as look566 rider suggested. Ugh Decisions, Decisions...
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Old 01-02-14, 07:37 PM   #9
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Don't despair over riding a flat bar! I rode flat bar for ten years before getting my Look 566 road bike.

The Cannondale in my signature is that flat bar bike. She is basically the same as a "regular" road bike, just with flat bars. I rode several century tours on this bike. She has 700x23 tires, full Ultegra drive train and good quality road wheels. I ran clip on, tri style aero bar for a long time as well to help when the wind was strong or if I wanted to go a little faster. Not Bike Snob stylish, but who cares? This worked for me.

Check with your local library, they should have subscriptions to at least one bicycle focused magazine. Look through the back issues for information to help with your quest! Bicycling is a magazine that covers a wide variety of riding styles.

One piece of advice none of us has said yet. A bicycle store bike is almost ALWAYS upgradeable! When you find the one that works for you, you can always improve on the components, i.e. better wheels, tires, drive train etc. over time or as you want to spend the money.

Good luck and happy riding!
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Old 01-17-14, 07:27 PM   #10
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Being an all leg guy, I found fitting the top tube to my short torso a better option than trying to go with a short stem. The frame I chose has a longer head tube so that my drop is not excessive and with 3cm of spacers gives a drop of about 6.8cm. I have seen data showing that the average male has an inseam/height ratio of 46.5-47.5% and I happen to be 48.8% (5'6" with a 81.8cm inseam). I found the longer stem approach to easier to fit. Incidentally Sheldon Brown advocated fitting the top tube of a bike to the rider verses the seat tube.
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