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  1. #1
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    Please help with bike adjustment

    Hello all,

    please help me decide how to adjust my hybrid bike for better fit.
    I am 178cm tall, and I have just changed a tiny 16" frame to a 19". However, I still have a feeling that it's a bit short. Please see attached pics of me on the bike.
    What do you think?


    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    The size of a frame is only a small factor in the fitting of a bike.
    The fork, spacers, stem and handlebar all contribute to how high your hands will be.
    The height of the seatpost will determine how high your butt will be.
    The size of the frame doesn't matter that much and I personally find it better to have a slightly smaller frame, so that the top tube is a bit lower and thus it is easier to get on and off the bike.

  3. #3
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    Your position looks pretty good.

    You might try raising the saddle a little bit The leg extension looks good in the last shot but your heel is below the pedal. Similarly almost straight knee when the ankle is slightly extended rather than flexed would work a little better. Don't extend seatpost beyond "minimum insertion" as marked on post though!

    Handlebar position is more dependent on rider's preferences. Your handlebars have you in a good position. If you want to sit more upright you can flip your stem, but because it is close to 90, the change will not be great. You'll need to change to a different stem to make a big change in handlebar position.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    I agree with what qmsdc15 said: raise the saddle a bit.
    It is a typical error for debuting cyclists to position their saddle too low.
    If you want to get your handlebar higher for a more eased out position on the bike, it might be a good idea to get an adjustable stem so you can fiddle with it untill you find your desired stance.
    Another option would be to get a rigid 30 degree stem ... I have one by Ritchey and I like it very much.
    The advantage of a rigid stem is that it will not start creaking when you ride very aggresively, like adjustable stems do.

  5. #5
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    It's too small for you for road use, but maybe ok offroad.

    It's also not really a hybrid but a hard-tail sus-fork XC MTB frame. You're almost out of seat tube, the h/bars are too low, and the head-tube too short. It will be OK offroad downhill, though you may have too much weight forwards, but neck ache, wrist, hand-ache and shoulder ache may set in for longer road rides. You'll be stooped over - and cramped, with too much weight on your hands. Try it for 20 miles/two hours and then decide.

    If so, only remedies are a steering tube extension, and or riser bars, and or a riser stem or a new bike. But if it doesn't fit now, it never will.

    To fit for longer road trips where you're in the saddle for longer, you need at least a 20" frame, but for short trips you may be OK on the small bike. Also frame geometry and thus 'size' varies - one 20" bike may not fit you as well as another.

    Getting on or off a taller bike is no problem, just lean the bike over toward you.
    Last edited by snafu21; 07-22-10 at 06:40 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  6. #6
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
    The size of a frame is only a small factor in the fitting of a bike.
    It's not the only. But "small"? No! It's most of the fit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Your position looks pretty good.

    You might try raising the saddle a little bit The leg extension looks good in the last shot but your heel is below the pedal. Similarly almost straight knee when the ankle is slightly extended rather than flexed would work a little better. Don't extend seatpost beyond "minimum insertion" as marked on post though!

    Handlebar position is more dependent on rider's preferences. Your handlebars have you in a good position. If you want to sit more upright you can flip your stem, but because it is close to 90, the change will not be great. You'll need to change to a different stem to make a big change in handlebar position.
    +1.

    How long is the current stem?

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    Waht to do?

    snafu21, I see your point. I do actually spend almost all of the time on roads and I like to travel 100-200km once in a while. Last 250km trip on a 16" frame was quite uncomfortable. I've spent some time measuring myself, the inseam (~85cm), comparing it to MTB/hybrid sizing charts, and they always gave me 19" as preferred size.
    What do you mean "if it doesn't fit now, it never will"? This was an assembled bike, so it could be not sized properly from the beginning.
    If I raise the handlebars (which are risers, by the way, at least not straight) with a new stem, do you think I should still do something to add some length, aren't my hands to close to the body?
    I was considering changing the current 90mm stem to a 120-130 because of this. What do you think? Overall, can it be adjusted for road use without changing the frame again? (I just bought it today, but who knows if the shop will be willing to change it).

    qmsdc15, AdelaaR, meanwhile - are you guys talking about adjusting it for use off-road as a MTB? Because I almost never go off-road, only jump around on it for fun in the city.
    Do you think it might be overall too small for longer road rides? Can anything be done except for changing the frame again?

    A new bike is not an option right now, though I was thinking of Specialized Sirrus Sport if I suddenly have more cash - just to give you an idea of what I like and do on the bike.

  9. #9
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    It looks too small to me. That's how my last mountain bike fit, and also why I got a bigger one. You might be able to make it fit though with a much longer stem, with a lot of rise. You could try bars with more rise too, which might help you out.

    The thing is, it does look like you're nearly out of seatpost, and you need to raise it still. Then the farther you raise the seat, the more you have to raise the bars. If I did the conversion correctly, you're only 5' 10'' though, and a 19 inch frame should be really close to the correct size, unless you're all legs or something. Are you sure of the frame size?
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
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  10. #10
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    waynesworld, your conversion is correct; I heard people say I have long legs, but nothing freaky I think. I had the same result with the frame size based on my height and inseam! That's why I chose and bought 19" today. After it was assembled, I did instantly feel like it was still too short for my arms, but went home to try it out.
    I just want to decide if I should really go back to the store and persuade them to change it to a 20" (or 21"? I don't know) or try adjusting it with a new stem. Both things could in theory not change much in terms of comfort.

  11. #11
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    If it isn't comfortable, I would take it back immediately. Different people like their bikes to fit in different ways sometimes, but if it feels too small, it is. I wouldn't bother with stems and such, especially since you are about out of seatpost.

    The latest mountain bike I got, to replace the one that was too small, isn't much bigger than the old one, but it feels great, while the other didn't. I think a lot of that is due to using less seatpost, so there isn't so much weight on my hands.

    That's just my 2 cents, but I had a too small bike, and hated it. I'd rather have a cheap, kind of crappy bike that fits than a nice one that doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
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  12. #12
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    I'm about 181cm tall so that's only a bit taller than you are and I use a 21 inch frame with a lot of seatpost sticking out, so yes, your frame is probably a bit too small.

  13. #13
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    Definitely exchange for a one size larger frame if you can (especially if you just bought it new.) That much seat post screams too small frame. Although your leg looks overextended in the last photo so you could probably lower it 1-2cm. Your arms look locked so it doesn't look like the reach is too cramped. You could get a riser stem and/or bars to try and make it work for you but I'd exchange it.

  14. #14
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    A lot of advice here I disagree with. I don't agree that your leg looks overextended and you should lower the saddle, in fact I think you should raise it slightly. I don't think the handlebars are necessarily too low, but that's your call. It looks like your back is around 45 from vertical (though the camera tilt makes it look slightly more upright). This degree of back angle is pretty normal. Many riders like a position like this. Many hybrid riders prefer a more upright position but not all of us. I don't believe those who are telling you that your handlebars are too low for you are correct. I suspect they mean the handlebars are too low for them. You may prefer a more upright position but the only evidence of that is your suggestion that the bike "feels too small", which by itself doesn't really lead to the conclusions some have made.

    I don't know that you are "almost out of seatpost" but it's quite possible. You are almost at full leg extension, so it is also quite possible that your seatpost could be raised to an ideal height without exceeding the range of this seatpost.

  15. #15
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    Mountain bike fit is a bit different than road fit.

    If you mainly ride on roads a road or cyclocross bike is a probably a better choice in the long run than a mountain bike. A used road bike is a good way to start while you figure out what you really want. It may be camera angle but that frame looks small to me. You can always change stems and handlebars to change reach and height of the handlebars,

    If you ride regularly and it doesn't feel right, then it isn't right.

  16. #16
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    More photos

    Ok, I took more pictures, this time I tried to minimize any camera tilt, it should be more or less parallel to the wall, and the bike is, too. On the last photos my ankle is raised, but I could lower it to horizontal position no problem. Also, I can touch the ground with both of my feet while on the saddle this high. Oh, and I am leaning against the wall slightly with my left arm.
    Does the frame still look too small, are the handlebars to low, seat post too high?
    I think the store won't be extatic to see me back, so I'll have to have good arguments to persuade them, like that I've asked for a better fit, but it didn't fit better than before.

    Al Criner, I do want a Sirrus Sport or something similar for long trips, but for now just trying to fit my current bike as well as possible.
    qmsdc15, I think for longer road rides the handlebars can be higher for more comfort. Only with this bike, maybe they should be higher AND further away.
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    Last edited by paul2008; 07-22-10 at 08:54 PM.

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    When you measure a bike you have to look at the seat tube height and the top tube length be that real or virtual... compact frames with sloping top tubes need to be measured differently than traditional frames.

    I am 176cm tall, have a 82.5cm / 32.5 inch riding inseam, and am quite comfortable with a saddle to bar reach of 80-82 cm which I could not get in a 48cm frame without a radically long stem (120-130mm) and this would just mess up the geometry of the bike.

    My smallest bike is a 52cm / 20 inch road bike with traditional geometry and a 52cm top tube and 100 mm stem... it is a very aggressive set up with a good deal of drop while my 55cm road bike has an 80mm stem and a little less drop which is better for longer distances and climbing.

    My hybrid and mtb are also 52 cm frames but with their compact geometry ride out like 55cm frames which is the same as all my other bikes.

    I have been fitted professionally and also do a lot of bike fitting and know for me, a 52-55cm frame is optimal... have ridden 56-58 cm frames and have been pretty comfy although this rates a shorter stem and I am missing some needed clearance on stand over.

    I am gonna say that a 48cm frame is too small for you in both aspects unless you have inordinately short legs for your height or really short arms... if you have average proportions I would be sending you out on a 21 or 22 inch frame.

  18. #18
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Hope This Helps.

    I think your frame is to small, and in this video my seat was 1/2 to low also. Richard

  19. #19
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    I figured it's not quite possible to make a touring bike out of an MTB, so I bought a bigger fork to raise the handlebars and a cheap big-ass comfortable saddle. The next step is a Specialized Sirrus or something similar.
    By the way, is Trek FX 7.3 suitable for traveling? What other models would you recommend?

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    If you have the right mountain bike they can make excellent touring bikes... older 80's and even early 90's frames have traditional geometry which is very close, if not identical to your classic touring bike.

    I like running on 26 inch wheels... the marginal loss in speed is more than made up for with toughness and improved ride qualities.


    55cm frame / 55 cm top tube

    Conversely... the FX line offers models that adapt well to long distance riding as they are more road-ish and less comfort oriented.

    My old Trek 7500 has served me well as a touring bike as well as a commuter and is probably the most versatile bike I own.


    52cm compact frame, virtual top tube is 55

  21. #21
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    Thanks for video and photos.
    I'm trying to further adjust my bike with the new higher fork and the seat a bit closer to the handlebars. I notice that when I want to go faster and feel comfortable, I slide my feet a bit forward, so that I pedal with the middle of my soles on the pedals, not the balls of the feet (moving saddle back feels less comfortable, so that is not a solution probably). What can this mean in terms of possible adjustments?

    Thanks again!

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