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  1. #1
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    Made some adjustments...

    Ok, I got a brand new 7.2FX, and after reading threads on the forum, I realized that the guy at the shop did not set me up correctly. So I decided to do it myself. I adjusted my brakes, seat, handlebars(lowered them by 3 washers), etc. When I am riding, the steering much more sensitive almost feels like I can tip over if I lean/turn a little to hard. Also, my foot hits the tire when I am turning sometimes (did not notice this before adjustments but only rode it a few times). Are these normal things to experience? Or did I not adjust my bike correctly? Thanks.

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    You should have made one small adjustment at a time unless something was completely out of wack.
    Then ride for a bit and repeat.
    Toe overlap is common.

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Toe overlap is common if you're pedaling with the arches of your feet -- at least, that's how it is with me, which usually only happens when I unclip and rest the middle of the shoe on the pedal to avoid accidentally clipping back in.

    I'd wager that the steering feels more sensitive because you're putting more weight on the bars, which is also making you slide a bit forward, including putting your feet farther forward on the pedals.

    I should ask -- why did you make each change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Toe overlap is common if you're pedaling with the arches of your feet -- at least, that's how it is with me, which usually only happens when I unclip and rest the middle of the shoe on the pedal to avoid accidentally clipping back in.

    I'd wager that the steering feels more sensitive because you're putting more weight on the bars, which is also making you slide a bit forward, including putting your feet farther forward on the pedals.

    I should ask -- why did you make each change?
    Because my handle bars were wayyy higher than my seat, and I read and watched many tutorials showing how to calibrate a bike. I just rode 3 miles and so far so good...I'm content except my arms are still locked out..maybe I need to bring the handlebars closer to the seat?

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Hmm...

    With those FX's and how they come from the factory, the bars shouldn't be higher than the seat, at least not by very much.

    Are you sure that the saddle is high enough for a good pedal stroke?

    See if you can post a pic of how you have it set up now.

  6. #6
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    What do you mean lowered the handle bars by 3 washers? Is it a threadless setup? If so, don't you need to cut the forktube since the topcap needs the 1/8" gap from the top of the tube.. (just askin' since I'm not familiar with FX stuff).

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    What do you mean lowered the handle bars by 3 washers? Is it a threadless setup? If so, don't you need to cut the forktube since the topcap needs the 1/8" gap from the top of the tube.. (just askin' since I'm not familiar with FX stuff).
    He'd be fine as long as he moves the spacers above the stem. But I wouldn't cut anything yet, because it sounds like something's not right at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    He'd be fine as long as he moves the spacers above the stem. But I wouldn't cut anything yet, because it sounds like something's not right at all.
    Ahhh, ok! I didn't realize that could be done or would work! ...Learn sumthin' new everyday!

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Ahhh, ok! I didn't realize that could be done or would work! ...Learn sumthin' new everyday!
    Yeah. You'll see bikes with spacers above the stem more often in the Road forum, where the rider is working on fine-tuning the fit of the bike and looking for the best saddle-to-bar drop (too high and it's not aero enough; too low and it hurts too much ).

    His FX should look roughly like this picture, with a bunch of seatpost visible and the seat at about the same height as the bars. He shouldn't be experiencing toe overlap, either, as long as he's pedaling with the balls of his feet (or do as I often do and not pedal much through really tight turns).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Yeah. You'll see bikes with spacers above the stem more often in the Road forum, where the rider is working on fine-tuning the fit of the bike and looking for the best saddle-to-bar drop (too high and it's not aero enough; too low and it hurts too much ).

    His FX should look roughly like this picture, with a bunch of seatpost visible and the seat at about the same height as the bars. He shouldn't be experiencing toe overlap, either, as long as he's pedaling with the balls of his feet (or do as I often do and not pedal much through really tight turns).
    Here is a pic...not the greatest but I'm in a rush to get out of my house...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
    Here is a pic...not the greatest but I'm in a rush to get out of my house...

    Going by the pic, are you sure you got a properly sized bike frame for you? When you are in the downstroke with your leg, do you have only a slight amount of flex in your knee?

    Without seeing you on the bike, it almost looks like you have the seat too low and IF that is the case, you may have gotten too large a frame. Again, nearly impossible to diagnose via the internet and one pic but I've ridden two different FX's and for the fit to feel right (for me), the seat was as high if not slightly higher than the bars.

    Your current set up looks all wrong in my opinion given the seat height. IF the bars are high enough and you need to take the seat higher (if you have proper leg extension), then it appears the frame MIGHT be too big.

    More details?
    Last edited by Raven87; 10-04-08 at 08:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    The seat height is correct IMO. I adjusted it based on bicycletutor.com tutorial. I could have went with the 20 or the 17.5 frame according to the shop. I chose the 17.5 because it gives me the option of handing it down to my GF if I want to upgrade......

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Actually, if the seat is lower than it should be, the frame would be too big. A bike that's too small would end up with the saddle sky-high, much higher than the bars. Of course, that's also assuming that its height is set for ideal pedal stroke, and not to be able to reach the ground with both feet while seated (which I can't do on any of my bikes).

    That seat angle is pretty wild, too.

    I mentioned it elsewhere -- the problem with compact geometry frames is that the sloping top tube leaves a lot of room for misadjustment. If this bike had a traditionally horizontal top tube, he would not be able to put the seat as low as it is now.

    What you say about feeling like your arms are still locked out also tells me that either the frame is too big or you're not actually rotating forward at the hips -- and that would be difficult to do with your seat tilted so far back. IF the frame is too big, simply dropping the handlebars won't help at all with reach, either -- as the stem slides down the steerer tube, it slides away from you, too.

    The FIRST thing I would do is revisit the seat height. A quick way to get in the ballpark would be to pedal with your heels on the pedals -- if your knees are completely straight at the bottom of the stroke, and your hips aren't rocking in an effort to reach the pedals, then your knees will have the proper slight bend when you pedal with the balls of your feet like you're supposed to do.

    IF that's how you have your seat now, then I'll say that the bike is much too big. Other bikes are designed to have the bars higher than the seat (you'll see them marketed as "comfort" bikes like Trek's Pure and Navigator series), but not the FX.

  14. #14
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Actually, if the seat is lower than it should be, the frame would be too big. A bike that's too small would end up with the saddle sky-high, much higher than the bars. Of course, that's also assuming that its height is set for ideal pedal stroke, and not to be able to reach the ground with both feet while seated (which I can't do on any of my bikes).

    That seat angle is pretty wild, too.

    I mentioned it elsewhere -- the problem with compact geometry frames is that the sloping top tube leaves a lot of room for misadjustment. If this bike had a traditionally horizontal top tube, he would not be able to put the seat as low as it is now.

    What you say about feeling like your arms are still locked out also tells me that either the frame is too big or you're not actually rotating forward at the hips -- and that would be difficult to do with your seat tilted so far back. IF the frame is too big, simply dropping the handlebars won't help at all with reach, either -- as the stem slides down the steerer tube, it slides away from you, too.

    The FIRST thing I would do is revisit the seat height. A quick way to get in the ballpark would be to pedal with your heels on the pedals -- if your knees are completely straight at the bottom of the stroke, and your hips aren't rocking in an effort to reach the pedals, then your knees will have the proper slight bend when you pedal with the balls of your feet like you're supposed to do.

    IF that's how you have your seat now, then I'll say that the bike is much too big. Other bikes are designed to have the bars higher than the seat (you'll see them marketed as "comfort" bikes like Trek's Pure and Navigator series), but not the FX.
    +1

    What I meant to say was that he was too small for the bike frame, not that the frame was too small for him. I think you are dead on. (I have edited my post)

    And, that seat angle is weird in my view too.

  15. #15
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
    The seat height is correct IMO. I adjusted it based on bicycletutor.com tutorial. I could have went with the 20 or the 17.5 frame according to the shop. I chose the 17.5 because it gives me the option of handing it down to my GF if I want to upgrade......
    Hmmm... strange.

    How tall are you? I'm 6'1 and the 20" was too much for me on the FX series and found the 17.5 much more comfortable and better fitting. My inseam is 32" and while I could stand over a 20" FX, it was right 'up there' if you get my drift.

    Do you just not have the seat high enough for proper leg extension?

  16. #16
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    Ok everyone, I am 5'9" ish with my sneakers on. I just made some adjustments as per BarracksSi suggestions. Here's an updated pic. I haven't gotten a chance to ride just yet....but it looks better. I'm wondering If I should just flip the handlebar mounting bracket over so it is angled downward if I need them lower....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
    Ok everyone, I am 5'9" ish with my sneakers on. I just made some adjustments as per BarracksSi suggestions. Here's an updated pic. I haven't gotten a chance to ride just yet....but it looks better. I'm wondering If I should just flip the handlebar mounting bracket over so it is angled downward if I need them lower....

    Well, it does look better. But - looks do not matter; your comfort and fit do.

    I would just about wager that a 17.5 is too big a frame. However, if the bike fits you and you are happy, that is all that counts.

    I'm not sure about flipping the bracket but that may be an option.

    IMO (and it is ONLY an opinion) I think you might want to consider going back to your shop and seeing if they would let you try the next size down (15?). It's certainly your call but unless you have long legs, you may have an issue with the seat that high on a 17.5.

    Good luck.

  18. #18
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven87 View Post
    Well, it does look better. But - looks do not matter; your comfort and fit do.
    +1

    When I was talking about how it "should look", I meant that if it's set up wildly different than the typical setup shown in Treks own pictures, it's probably either simply set up incorrectly (again, easy to do with a sloping top tube) or it's the wrong size.

    In other words, with the bars back at the top of the steerer and the saddle about the same height as the bars, the bike will ride fine -- IF it's the right size for you.

    IMO (and it is ONLY an opinion) I think you might want to consider going back to your shop and seeing if they would let you try the next size down (15?). It's certainly your call but unless you have long legs, you may have an issue with the seat that high on a 17.5.

    Good luck.
    Yup, definitely try another size if you can. It wasn't until about ten years ago that I first tried various sizes of one bike model, and I was surprised that they felt as different as they did, even with just a ride around the block. I tried three sizes, riding the smallest first. It seemed fine, honestly. Then I tried the middle size -- wow, everything was in the perfect spot. The bigger size just felt too big, so I went with the middle of the three. I still can put a lot of hours on that bike.

  19. #19
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    To further illustrate what I'm saying about seatpost and how much is visible in different frames, here are two of my bikes. They both have the same saddle-to-pedal distance, but due to the shape of the Bad Boy's frame, you can see a lot more seatpost, making it appear to be higher.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    +1


    In other words, with the bars back at the top of the steerer and the saddle about the same height as the bars, the bike will ride fine -- IF it's the right size for you.


    Are you saying to move the 3 spacers from the top of the steering bracket to the bottom? And then flip it over, so it slopes downward instead of upwards?

  21. #21
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
    Are you saying to move the 3 spacers from the top of the steering bracket to the bottom? And then flip it over, so it slopes downward instead of upwards?
    So far, it seems like you're trying to push everything on the bike lower.

    This will work if your inseam is really short for your height; have people commented that your legs are shorter than normal? The reason why I say this is, with a really low seat, it's like you're riding on an extra-long frame -- which would be fine if you have short legs and a looong torso. However, you're not bringing the bars any closer to you by dropping them -- the steerer tube is angled so that, as you lower the stem, the bars actually get farther away.

    But anyway --

    Forget the handlebars for now, and -- again -- set the saddle according to your pedal stroke. If you've already done it exactly as described at bicycletutor.com (and his video is spot-on, IMO), and it still has to be as low as shown in your pics, you can either keep the bars low on the steerer (which will result in a long reach) or get a smaller bike (which will result in an average reach).

    Looking at your pics again -- is it just me, or is the whole bike angled way back in the first pic?

  22. #22
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    So far, it seems like you're trying to push everything on the bike lower.

    This will work if your inseam is really short for your height; have people commented that your legs are shorter than normal? The reason why I say this is, with a really low seat, it's like you're riding on an extra-long frame -- which would be fine if you have short legs and a looong torso. However, you're not bringing the bars any closer to you by dropping them -- the steerer tube is angled so that, as you lower the stem, the bars actually get farther away.

    But anyway --

    Forget the handlebars for now, and -- again -- set the saddle according to your pedal stroke. If you've already done it exactly as described at bicycletutor.com (and his video is spot-on, IMO), and it still has to be as low as shown in your pics, you can either keep the bars low on the steerer (which will result in a long reach) or get a smaller bike (which will result in an average reach).

    Looking at your pics again -- is it just me, or is the whole bike angled way back in the first pic?
    +1

    Although, if you look closely at the parts of the tires/wheels that are visible, it almost looks like the nose of the bike is sitting higher than the rear and I think this may be what creates the illusion that the seat is tipped upward at the front.

    In his second picture, things look more normal level-wise relating to the seat.

    It would be nice if he could post a pic of his leg as he sits on the seat in the riding position. Your advice to adjust the seat height correctly is vital to getting everything else in line. Given the geometry of the bike and his height, I would wager a hot fudge sunday that he needs the next size down.

    By the way, your two Cannondales are gorgeous. How do you like the Bad Boy?

  23. #23
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    The Bad Boy rocks -- it's a fun bike. It's basically a mountain bike with narrow 700c tires. I've put many more miles on the CAAD8, though.

  24. #24
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    Ok, here it is...just keep one thing in mind...I had to keep my left toes on the ground for balance, so my right leg will probably lock out in full extension when I'm seated more properly. I am going to ride in a little while, but I think my elbows were slightly flexed when I took this picture, so maybe I'll be more comfortable.
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  25. #25
    I'm just sayin'... Raven87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeGk View Post
    Ok, here it is...just keep one thing in mind...I had to keep my left toes on the ground for balance, so my right leg will probably lock out in full extension when I'm seated more properly. I am going to ride in a little while, but I think my elbows were slightly flexed when I took this picture, so maybe I'll be more comfortable.

    Well, without standing behind you and for not having both feet on the pedals it LOOKS like a decent extension. If you pedal using the balls of your feet, you should have the right amount of flex but again, that is really difficult to tell without you having both feet off the ground.

    From here, it looks to be a decent fit given I'm looking at a pic. Not sure why you would want the bars any lower and it does not look like you should take the seat any higher.

    Ride it for a while and see how it feels. Then, post your findings when you can.

    Good luck - that IS a nice bike!

    EDIT: Just wondering - is it hard to get your leg over the seat with it that high and that is why you had it lower to begin with?

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