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Old 08-22-09, 07:14 PM   #1
common man
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2 quick, unrelated ?s: stem length & fender compatibility



1. Here's a photo of my stem set up. The horizontal stem length is effectively super short (maybe 40 mm?). I don't notice any difference at all in terms of handling with this set up or having the stem fully horizontal at its 120 mm length. I thought changing stem length from 120 mm to 80 mm was the difference between stable and twitchy. I am curious as to why I don't notice any difference when I take the bike for a moderate ride at the state park on a paved surface. Perhaps I didn't understand the talk about stem length? I am a newbie to cycling and this is my first bike since decades ago when I was a kid.




2. I want to buy fenders for my bike. I decided on this model because if in the future I want to install disc brakes or buy a bike with disc brakes, I can use these instead of buy another pair of fenders. I understand these don't require "fender eyelets" (a term I heard today for the first time). I'd actually be consoled to know that I didn't have fender eyelets to begin with. That would make these fenders the clear winner. Looking at these photos, do I even have fender eyelets?

Thanks.

PS: Fear not, the orange handle grips will be prompty replaced by a more sensible, matching black foam grips.

Last edited by common man; 08-22-09 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 08-22-09, 07:20 PM   #2
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Yes, you have fender eyelets. They're the open holes you see directly above the axle. As to the stem, not all bikes go from rideable to unrideable changing stem length. It's also a product of geometry.

That said, does that bike actually fit you? Looks like waaaay too much seatpost showing, and post combined with handlebar height in that pic makes me think the frame is too small.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:19 PM   #3
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lol, thanks for the reply. I am still experimenting / figuring out how to fit myself to the bike.I am 5' 9 1/2" bare feet with average proportions all around except for the beer gut (205 lbs). My bike has a 19" Fuji frame with compact geometry. I have raised the seat height so there is a slight bend on my knees at the 6 o clock peddle position and my hips don't rotate as I peddle. I have moved the seat all the way back so most of my weight is on the seat. I know the feet (and arms) should carry some of that weight but this is only possible if you're a fit cyclist doing a high cadence and peddling vigorously. I am out of shape and that is also why I have raised the handlebar very high. This requires less flexibility. I know if you sit on the bike bolt upright and go over a pothole, it's bad for your lumbar disks. In a few weeks (days?) I'll try to get to a posture where my back is at a 45 degree arch like a bridge. My elbows have a slight bend. While KOPS is not a rigid rule, if I drop a plumb liine from the bony knee protrusion, it goes near the peddle axis (I won't say exact because I don't have the set up or a helper to do a precise measurement).

Articles on bike fit by Sheldon Brown and Peter White are my excellent references. However, it's one thing to read directions it's another thing to actually carry them out especially when I'm fitting myself without a helper dropping the plumb line or watching my position. None of my friends are as enthusiastic as me for cycling or fit. I may go to my LBS (I have 3 of them) and get fit for the bike or force one of my friends to help me. I am interested in biking because it was a favorite childhood hobby and it'll get me in shape fast. I think I need a few more weeks time to gauge my fitness in response to cycling and then adjust the bike to accommodate that.

Thank you for your comment on fit. I appreciated it. I was actually afraid the bike was too big for my height. The shop that sold me the bike gave maybe 2-3 lines of comment on the fit (they wanted to sell me the bike just as much as I wanted to run away with the bike - I got it for $400 and was very happy). I know next time to take fit much more seriously. This is my first "real" adult bike. The Emory - Fuji website (the chart for Absolute) and Trek site both say that a 5' 9 1/2" person should be on a 19" hybrid bike (just a guideline) whereas I know forum members tell you to take the smallest frame size you're OK with. I didn't want to pass up on this deal so I hope the bike isn't too big for me when I actually do figure out my fit.

Since I do have fender eyelets, do you think this model I ordered is OK or are wrap around fenders bad & loose? If I don't consider disc brakes in the future and think just short term, would this fender model be a better option? I'm hoping the wrap around model will be super easy to mount.

Last edited by common man; 08-22-09 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:30 PM   #4
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Both fenders should work. The nice part about hybrids is that they accessorize well Planet Bike stuff is good, and they have rock solid customer service.

19" frame sounds about right, you're about my height, and I ride the same size range. It was just the amount of seatpost showing and the way you had the handlebars full up that made me ask the question. I also know that some camera angles can make things looked skewed.

And honestly - If it's comfortable for you and you ride it it doesn't matter what others think anyway!
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Old 08-22-09, 08:36 PM   #5
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19" frame sounds about right, you're about my height, and I ride the same size range.
thanks! out of curiosity, what frame size do you ride? i'm going to guess 17.5"
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Old 08-22-09, 09:59 PM   #6
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thanks! out of curiosity, what frame size do you ride? i'm going to guess 17.5"
Really depends on the bike's geometry.

Fuji Cross Pro: 54cm
Gary Fisher Kaitai: 17.5"
Gary Fisher Tarpon: 18"
Gary Fisher Mt. Tam: 17"
Trek 7.2FX : 20"
BMC TT03 Time Trial Bike: S (52cm)

Got rid of a Lemond Poprad (55cm) and a Trek 4300 (19") because they were too big for me. Thought they fit at the time, but in retrospect all the tweaking and stem changing, etc I could never ever get the bikes truly comfortable. Out of all the bikes above, the Cross Pro fits me like a glove and is my primary ride. I cycle commute to work almost 25 miles each way, 5 days a week, so fit and comfort are paramount. You get something not quite right and you know it in a hurry. I do however tend to prefer a frame just a touch on the small side, as I toss a bike around a bit if I'm cranking on it.

I'm 53 years old, 5'9" and about 170lbs

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Old 08-23-09, 06:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by common man View Post
I may go to my LBS (I have 3 of them) and get fit for the bike or force one of my friends to help me.

This is my first "real" adult bike. The Emory - Fuji website (the chart for Absolute) and Trek site both say that a 5' 9 1/2" person should be on a 19" hybrid bike (just a guideline) whereas I know forum members tell you to take the smallest frame size you're OK with. I didn't want to pass up on this deal so I hope the bike isn't too big for me when I actually do figure out my fit.
Too bad you went to Bicycle South.
Stop by Intown Bicycles in Virginia-Highland (where I work) and we'll fit you to the correct bike.

The fenders attach to the front fork with P clamps or zip ties.
The stem looks really scary. I suggest swapping it for a shorter one. If you want the handlebars up higher install a riser on the stem.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:29 AM   #8
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Really depends on the bike's geometry.
Thanks for the details. Your extensive cycling with those bikes will surely keep you healthy for years to come. Over time I will also have a nice bicycle collection like that!
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Old 08-23-09, 07:35 AM   #9
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The stem looks really scary. I suggest swapping it for a shorter one. If you want the handlebars up higher install a riser on the stem.
Lol, I don't notice any difference in handling with having that stem the way it is or making it horizontal to its 120 mm length. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't make very sudden or quick turns like true racers would do. This is just a temporary set up. In a few days or weeks I will put the stem at a more horizontal position as I get used to the flexibility required.

By the way, I know you can only tell in person, but are you suspecting that 19" frame is too large for a 5' 9 1/2" barefoot tall person?
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Old 08-23-09, 10:47 AM   #10
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PS: Fear not, the orange handle grips will be prompty replaced by a more sensible, matching black foam grips.
Personally I think the orange grips rock.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:42 PM   #11
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The fenders attach to the front fork with P clamps or zip ties.
Based on the pic he's posted, there's an eyelet there.
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