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Old 09-26-09, 12:27 AM   #1
CornyBum
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Small question about a bicycle's fit

Hi, I'm pretty new around here and recently bought a hybrid bicycle to be used for commuting and light rides on local streets. I haven't ridden a bicycle in many years until this one, so I felt pretty awkward and lame taking it for its first test drive after its first tune-up. I've read some articles on how to correctly fit a bicycle, and these forums seem to support the simple golden rule that in the end, it's just up to my personal comfort. I know a few basic guidelines: the handlebars are usually most comfortable when approximately level with the saddle, and when my foot is at the lowest point in pedaling, my leg should be just slightly bent (around 30 degrees). Though a sloping top tube makes this less clear than I'd like, I think the frame is about the right size too, since when I straddle it and lift it into my crotch, the bike's wheels are about two inches from the ground.

What really bothered me though, was finding that once I came to a stop, I found it difficult to keep standing with just one foot on the ground. Maybe it's just because I'm only recently bicycling again, but it seemed hard to balance when at a stop. I think I've read on these forums that this is irrelevant to my fit on the bicycle, when I'm actually on it when riding, and that it's acceptable.

Is the fact that I (so far) find it hard to balance and stay somewhat on the saddle when at a stop something that's indicative of an improper bike fit? Or is this separate from the bike's fit and an acceptable hindrance that should be solved by just trying to tiptoe or dismounting?
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Old 09-26-09, 01:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CornyBum View Post
Hi, I'm pretty new around here and recently bought a hybrid bicycle to be used for commuting and light rides on local streets. I haven't ridden a bicycle in many years until this one, so I felt pretty awkward and lame taking it for its first test drive after its first tune-up. I've read some articles on how to correctly fit a bicycle, and these forums seem to support the simple golden rule that in the end, it's just up to my personal comfort. I know a few basic guidelines: the handlebars are usually most comfortable when approximately level with the saddle, and when my foot is at the lowest point in pedaling, my leg should be just slightly bent (around 30 degrees). Though a sloping top tube makes this less clear than I'd like, I think the frame is about the right size too, since when I straddle it and lift it into my crotch, the bike's wheels are about two inches from the ground.

What really bothered me though, was finding that once I came to a stop, I found it difficult to keep standing with just one foot on the ground. Maybe it's just because I'm only recently bicycling again, but it seemed hard to balance when at a stop. I think I've read on these forums that this is irrelevant to my fit on the bicycle, when I'm actually on it when riding, and that it's acceptable.

Is the fact that I (so far) find it hard to balance and stay somewhat on the saddle when at a stop something that's indicative of an improper bike fit? Or is this separate from the bike's fit and an acceptable hindrance that should be solved by just trying to tiptoe or dismounting?
You got it,just slide off of saddle straddle, the bike(good reason for some top bar clearance),if i tiptoe to long i get a cramp in my calf which causes real havok at street lite.
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Old 09-26-09, 05:11 AM   #3
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Yes, slide off the saddle and straddle the bike's top tube when you come to a stop.

30 knee bend sounds like a lot, but maybe a good starting point until you get more comfortable on the bike. You should probably raise the saddle a little at a time until you have only a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the stroke.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 09-26-09, 07:12 AM   #4
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To get the knee bend right, sit normally on the seat, and pedal backwards with just your heel on the pedal. You should be able to do this without rocking side to side, and your leg should be almost perfectly straight.

Then, when you pedal with the balls of your feet, the angle will be perfect.
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Old 09-26-09, 08:01 AM   #5
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Yepper. Go to a large parking lot and practice coming to a stop and sliding off the saddle as you stop so you can put your foot down. Then practice taking off by mashing a pedal to get going and slide back up into the saddle. 1/2 hour of practice and you will have it down.
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Old 09-29-09, 04:44 AM   #6
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Thanks, guys!
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Old 09-29-09, 06:05 AM   #7
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Both of us had the same problem, we had been on department store bikes only and never knew about proper fit so it felt like the seat was too high. Wife we lowered hers and let her start out there then gradually lifted it up.
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Old 09-29-09, 10:09 AM   #8
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When you’re coming to a stop, stand on one pedal, and slide forward off the saddle. Lean the bicycle a little to the side and place your free foot on the ground. When stopped, raise one foot and its pedal into the 2 o’clock starting position.
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Old 10-01-09, 04:16 AM   #9
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Thanks. I read about that technique and practiced it today.
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Old 10-03-09, 08:16 AM   #10
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Then practice taking off by mashing a pedal to get going and slide back up into the saddle. 1/2 hour of practice and you will have it down.
On which gear is this recommended?
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Old 10-03-09, 08:36 AM   #11
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On which gear is this recommended?
Whichever one is comfortable to you. You want some resistance, and the ability to get up a little speed without stopping to shift.

Of course, on a hill, you will need a lower gear, but one you still might need to stand to pedal. It's always nice to stand whenever you are leaving a stop - it helps you get up to speed using your body weight, rather than your muscles.
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