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  1. #1
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    What did you all do for bike fits in the 60's and 70's?

    Before all this pro fit, computerised, stuff started?

    How'd you fit yerself, and how'd it turn out?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    I guarantee you that there were gurus out there who could help with fit issues back in the day. I myself can fit anything in the area of a 56 without much effort, so I don't concern myself much with that. I like riding crit/roadrace bikes, and have a surgically repaired ACL. I am probably a little on the insensitive side of fit issues. You are riding a 48 lb upright bike. My guess is you will be just fine getting the fit set up yourself. Unless you are on the very sensitive side of fit issues.

  3. #3
    riding since '76
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    I rode a bike that was too big for me, but I managed to ride it for 30+ years and have fun. I know now that my current smaller bike is much more comfortable, and even more fun.
    2011 Cervelo RS
    2007 CAAD9

  4. #4
    Senior Member hamiltonian's Avatar
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    I've never been fitted for a bike, since I've been riding only used and salvaged bikes. I just go by initial stand-over height, then play around with the seat, stem, and bars until I like the ride. Takes a bit of trial and fuss, but it all works out.

    Isn't that likely what they did in the old days? Anyway, I'm not convinced that the tech stuff is much more than a gimmick, since it all comes down to how the bike feels to the person being fitted, and there's no real science for that.

    I'd still like to get fitted the fancy way, though, just out of curiosity.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    We put people on bikes, and talked to them about how they felt on one size frame or another .

    swapping stems took longer, because you had to remove the bar tape and such.

    once you were in the USCF, dues paying aspiring racer, at sanctioned races ,
    coaches with 'some expertise' were available.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-23-12 at 07:41 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    In the Old days? well bikes tended to have straight flat top tubes. The standard fit was standover height. If you could straddle the top tube with one or two inches to spare then you were good to go. You could move the saddle forward a bit and I understand they could put on a shorter quill stem if necessary but normally that wasn't necessary.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Trial and error. If something was uncomfortable, you made changes and saw how it worked out. I've still got a bike from that era, and it's still comfortable.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hamiltonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    The standard fit was standover height. If you could straddle the top tube with one or two inches to spare then you were good to go.
    That's the wisdom, but in my experience you can make do when a bike is a little bigger and it's free and/or you love it. You just need to be able to get on it, and not sing soprano at stop lights.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    In the Old days? well bikes tended to have straight flat top tubes. The standard fit was standover height. If you could straddle the top tube with one or two inches to spare then you were good to go. You could move the saddle forward a bit and I understand they could put on a shorter quill stem if necessary but normally that wasn't necessary.
    This, pretty much. Another test was to adjust the seat so your legs were right, then close your fist around the seatpost. If your hand didn't cover the exposed portion of the post, you went up a size.
    By those standards, everybody in America is riding a bike that's too small. But it still works for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    This, pretty much. Another test was to adjust the seat so your legs were right, then close your fist around the seatpost. If your hand didn't cover the exposed portion of the post, you went up a size.
    By those standards, everybody in America is riding a bike that's too small. But it still works for me.
    Yes, I could ride a bigger frame in the old days but that was because of the frame design I believe. Today I can ride an agressive bike Like a Tarmac in a 52 or a relaxed Roubiax in a 54. But the top tube on both bikes turnes out to be close to 54 + or -. I bought a 91 Klein a few months ago and wasn't sure it would fit. Kleins didn't come in 52 or 54 but rather 53 and 55. I thought a 55 would be too big but the top tube is???? 54 so I feel pretty good on it. I am learning to love that bike. But I do agree trial and error was the most common method as long as Standover worked. Unless you were a kid and then no bike was too big, you just let it fall to one side when you came to a stop. I remember when western Auto used to sell pedal blocks so kids could ride bigger bikes.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    You are riding a 48 lb upright bike. My guess is you will be just fine getting the fit set up yourself. Unless you are on the very sensitive side of fit issues.
    No, it is a 22lb drop bar bike. I want to set it up for comfort.
    Last edited by lungimsam; 08-23-12 at 10:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    Another test was to adjust the seat so your legs were right, then close your fist around the seatpost.
    How did you define "legs were right" back then?
    Right now, I am showing a fistfull of seatpost with about 1 inch of crotch clearance. I am fine at stops straddling the bike.
    My main thing is figuring our saddle fore/aft and then reach. Having a hard time figuring out what is "right". Confused by all the methods there are these days.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    No, it is a 22lb drop bar bike. I want to set it up for comfort.
    Tell us more about the bike? Year,make, what kind of bar stem? Comfort depends on how you ride or what kind of riding you want to do. Touring bikes can be drop bar but their saddle and bar stem are closer to level. If you have a quil stem there isn't a lot you can do to raise it but you can rotate the bars or brake levers up so the ramps are pretty flat to give you a more upright position. We are not talking upright like a hybrid but at least like a flat bar but with hoods to ride on.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Tell us more about the bike? .
    It is a ~ 2008, 55cm Rivendell Bleriot.
    Nitto Noodle drop bar. Technomic quill stem with 9cm extension.
    Traditional diamond looking frame.
    I have the bars a little higher than the saddle now, with flat ramps. I like being more upright after the years of race geometry bike I had.

    I do commuting and recreational road rides. Not racing, just friendly metric century rides, 40 milers, etc. For fun, not speed.
    I know my seat height, but need to know how to do fore/aft of saddle. I will work out the reach for comfort after.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    It is a ~ 2008, 55cm Rivendell Bleriot.
    Nitto Noodle drop bar. Technomic quill stem with 9cm extension.
    Traditional diamond looking frame.
    I have the bars a little higher than the saddle now, with flat ramps. I like being more upright after the years of race geometry bike I had.

    I do commuting and recreational road rides. Not racing, just friendly metric century rides, 40 milers, etc. For fun, not speed.
    I know my seat height, but need to know how to do fore/aft of saddle. I will work out the reach for comfort after.
    OK, the best I can do is point you in the general direction. If you are comfortable with the saddle and bar height then the general rule of thumb t start adjusting for fore and aft are you knee should be close to right over the pedal spindle when the pedals are horizontal. They used to drop a plumb bob from your knee to see if that was the case. But this is only a starting point. Here is some more information. http://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

    http://sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    good fit , lengthways, seems that if I look straight down the steering axis,
    while riding, and its all good.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    good fit , lengthways, seems that if I look straight down the steering axis,
    while riding, and its all good.
    Depends on who you ask. I was told that you shouldn't be able to see your front Skewer when on the hoods, the bar should block it. But after I got a fitting on my old Lapierre the fitter shortened my stem, a 65, and while it was more comfortable I could see my front axle. When I switch to my Tarmac the top tube was a smidge shorter so my stem went to a 90 and guess what, I can't see the axle from the hoods again, and it too is comfortable. Go figure.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamiltonian View Post
    That's the wisdom, but in my experience you can make do when a bike is a little bigger and it's free and/or you love it. You just need to be able to get on it, and not sing soprano at stop lights.
    Curbs were so handy for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Epicus07 View Post
    That being said..Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.

  19. #19
    Senior Member hamiltonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
    Curbs were so handy for that.
    LOL Actually I use curbs all the time on any bike, because I'm an old man with the flexibility of an older man.

  20. #20
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Fits? Screaming and crying seldom worked. Making sure your parents knew you'd talked to Santa about a bike worked best.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  21. #21
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    Dad brings the bike home. Puts you on it and with the seat all the way down your feet barely reach the pedals. "Don't worry. You'll grow into it."
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

    Pogo

  22. #22
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    I was lucky to escape the '70s before I tuned 7. My grandparents bought me a 20" wheel bike, then my other grandpa got me a cool banana bike he had painted metallic green, and theese bikes fit as well as I could hope.

    But when I started riding road bike sin the mid/late 80s, the geometry was pretty simple, as mentioned above, and the LBS employees helped me select a size that was a reasonable fit.

    The oft repeated advice to 'get fitted' on this forum is usually given to people who don't already know what they want, or are buying used (and thus cannot rely on the help of a LBS, most of who, believe it or not, get it right more often than they get it wrong). Or have already purchased a bike and have begun (or someone else has begun) making random changes to it to improve the fit.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    When I started taking cycling more seriously in 1990, I went to this place ... maybe you've heard of them, many towns have them ... called a "library". Libraries contain shelves and shelves of books. Sometimes a few of those books contain information about bicycles and cycling.

    In my case, my local library had 5 books on bicycles and cycling. I took all of them out, and read them from cover to cover.

    One of them had some advice about how to set up a bicycle. So I stood my bicycle (which I discovered was way too big for me) in the kitchen, and referring to the book, with measuring tape and plumb bobs in hand, I measured everything, and adjusted this, and adjusted that ... and set the bicycle up as comfortably as possible for me.

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    Before all this pro fit, computerised, stuff started?

    How'd you fit yerself, and how'd it turn out?
    Just like I and 99+% of other cyclists do now. Turns out fine for those who measure their fit by how it feels, rather than how it reads on a computer.

  25. #25
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    How'd you fit yourself, and how'd it turn out?
    Whadaya think?

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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