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  1. #1
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    How can I tell if I'm reaching - fit question.

    I'm a few hundred miles into riding a stock Trek 7300 hybrid. I've gotten the seat height and seat position right where if feels good (front of knee over the pedal when at 3&9 postion, knee slightly bent at full extention). Yet I sometimes feel that I am 'reaching' too far for the grips. How do I know I've got the handlebars in the right position (front to rear?). What is the common measure to determine your reach? My bike has a 20" (51cm) frame. I stand 5'10' - 180 lbs with a 30" inseam and a 35" sleeve length. If I put a straight edge on the top of my saddle I can see that my grips are about an inch above my seat. Still, the front end of the bike occassionally feels a bit 'light'. If feels especailly light when I stand up to pedal. I don't know if that due to the longer wheelbase and lighter weight compared to my old moutain bike or not. I'm trying to figure out if its a different fee due to the bike design or due to an improper fit / adjustment.

    Any an all ideas / suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks!
    Spud

  2. #2
    Senior Member javal's Avatar
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    A stretched posture can take some time to get used to. With that I mean distribution of energy and controlling the bike. This question pops up now & then and I believe the geometry of newer bikes with prolonged top tubes and stems can be tricky for "newbies". Today┤s bikes are more measured in length rather than earlier, in height. You might be more comfy on a smaller frame (shorter top tube), or it might be enough to alter bar/stem position or get yourself a shorter stem. But then again, it might be a question of just getting used to a more aggressive riding position.
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

  3. #3
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    Riding position is very personal.
    You can go for an upright position with your handlebar close to you, to be very comfortable.
    You can go for an increasingly lower position to be less comfortable but faster.
    The one rule is: set it up how you like it best.
    When you make adjustments, remember that getting used to the new position will take some time.

  4. #4
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    I'm reading this thread with great interest, because I'm not sure about reach and saddle position on my bike (Trek 7100 women's, XS 13.5"). I have to remind myself to scoot back on the saddle (which makes it more comfy), and especially when going uphill, I wind up too far forward on it, which is uncomfortable in front. This would seem to indicate that the saddle should be moved forward (--I guess?). However, the front of my knee is actually a little in front of the pedal spindle at 3:00, which would indicate the saddle should be moved back a little. So far, I have only adjusted the height, which is close to what it should be, I think. As I have raised the saddle, I think perhaps the nose needs to go down a notch, but I've not done that yet, either. My handlebar grips are several inches above the saddle and the reach "seems to be OK," (arms aren't totally extended but I'm not sure I'm not having to reach a little too far), but after the last time I rode, my left shoulder blade has been hurting for a few days. I never have aches and pain so this is very unusual, and may not even be related to the bike, but I can't think of anything else that could have caused it. I want to ride upright and my only concern with speed is to NOT go too fast on the downhills. I know nothing about stems, etc. and have not yet been back to the BS. I am almost 5'3", so I can't imagine that the bike is too big for me, and I don't think it's too small because I only have a few inches of the seatpost exposed. Any thoughts on saddle and handlebar positions?

    To refresh memories, I'm the grandmother who just got a bike in June and am a total beginner, and not athletic at all. The longest ride I've taken is about 3 miles and I still can't make it all the way up the steeper side of "Mt. KillaMomjaro". I can do the lesser uphill grades in my neighborhood, slowly.

    I hope I'm not hijacking your thread, but our concerns seem very similar, and replies to one may be helpful to the other, I thought. Thanks for any advice!

  5. #5
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    bike seat raised.jpg This is the bike.

  6. #6
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    OP - I have not tried it, but am told that Competitive Cyclist has a bike fit calculator that is very good.. takes in 8 measurements and riding style and gives range of geometries. May give insight on stem length, but AdelaaR's comments about how personalized fit is are spot on. You sound like you set seat height and fore/aft by the most common method, so leave those fixed and see what you want to do with stem.

    Goagain - would love to offer advice but your frame style and bars are amazingly different than anything I have ridden (as a 6' 3" 207lb Gorilla), but if I were to hazard a guess, your scootching forward on the seat is based more on general bike style than on seat fore aft. I would guess your hands to be quite high, elbows bent significantly, and your back almost vertical. That would make it easy for you to slide forward every time you lean forward, as your elbows are already significantly bent and you have no frame of reference. On my bike, I have a very slight elbow bend, so if it grows, I know quickly. You don't have that luxury. Going nose down on the seat may make it worse. I would make it perfectly level, not by eye but with a level. I do that or go a sniff nose up, but thats me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Roll. Elbows aren't bent very much, just slightly. Maybe I have short arms?

  8. #8
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    I am honestly just guessing or offering thoughts. I have not set one up like that for anyone I know. Good luck and experiment. Just remember to only change one variable at a time so you know what fixes it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goagain View Post
    bike seat raised.jpg This is the bike.
    Just a few suggestions:

    First thing is to mark your saddle rail(s) with a piece of tape, to know where your fore/aft starting position is within the seat clamp.

    Then level your saddle with a spirit type level as already mentioned. Try that for a ride and see if there is any noticeable difference. If not, then tilt the nose of the saddle up, no more than 1/2 a bubble on the level and give that a whirl. Again, make an assessment as to whether or not you still need to scoot back on the saddle from time to time or it is simply more uncomfortable. Ride as long as you need to give it a fair trial after each adjustment.

    If neither of those two adjustments work for you, then re-level your saddle and re-check that the piece of tape is still marking the original position of the saddle rails in the seat post clamp original fore/aft position.

    Now move the seat forward 1/2 inch, ensure it is level and tightened and then take it for a ride, again, making an assessment as to whether it is comfortable, causes you to still scoot back on the saddle and so on. If you find this helps, then you can fine tune the adjustment fore/aft by say. 1/4 inch one way or the other. If it doesn't help, then move the seat back to it's original rail position (tape) and report back.

    I know you made note of your KOPS position, but, for now don't worry about that.

  10. #10
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    Thanks! I will try these suggestions soon. It's been near 100 degrees here and my vacation time is over so I haven't ridden in several days. The shoulder blade is still hurting a little so I don't know what's going on with that.

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