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  1. #1
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Bike fit for LD riding

    I'm going to call myself new to LD riding since I'm just getting back into it after 15 years, and I know the technology behind a professional fitting has advanced.
    I have an appointment this weekend at the LBS which uses the Serrotta fit system, and I am curious if there are any specific points I should bring up with the fit tech. The tech is familiar with LD riding, and the shop outfits many of the local LD riders. Aside from letting him know my riding style and goals, are there questions specific to LD riding which will help to dial in a fitting session?
    If it helps, I'm not going custom on the frame. I'm building around a Surly LHT, so there are the general constraints of the stock frame sizes to adhere to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I have an appointment this weekend at the LBS which uses the Serrotta fit system, and I am curious if there are any specific points I should bring up with the fit tech. The tech is familiar with LD riding, and the shop outfits many of the local LD riders. Aside from letting him know my riding style and goals, are there questions specific to LD riding which will help to dial in a fitting session?
    are you getting frame and fork or just the LHT frame and a fork of your own choosing? One thing that might be worth bringing up is the idea of setting up a fork with enough rake to make it handle well with a handlebar bag. The worthiness of using handlebar bags, and setting up a bike so that the bag still allows you to ride with no hands is part of the new Bike Quarterly gospel. Take or leave that as you will.

    The other thing that I find to be very important (and I believe this is part of the Serotta system) is looking at whether you'll need to shoe inserts to deal with incipient knee or ankle issues that can creep up over long hours in the saddle.

  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    are you getting frame and fork or just the LHT frame and a fork of your own choosing? One thing that might be worth bringing up is the idea of setting up a fork with enough rake to make it handle well with a handlebar bag. The worthiness of using handlebar bags, and setting up a bike so that the bag still allows you to ride with no hands is part of the new Bike Quarterly gospel. Take or leave that as you will.
    Due to monetary constraints, I'm starting out with the LHT complete build and adjusting appropriately with different stem, bars, levers, seatpost, etc. as necessary. If a different fork is needed due to the stock fork coming pre-cut and possibly being too short, then I can look into a different fork initially. I will keep the fork swap in mind since I do use a h'bar bag. Right now I'm not very happy with the mounting of the bag I have because it sits too high. In looking at most brevet bikes, h'bar bags are mounted low with the top of the bag just coming even with the top of the bars. I have a small platform front rack I'll be transferring to the bike, and I believe I can use an accessory mount like the Spacebar to lower the mounting point where the h'bar bag will also rest on the front rack for added stability.

    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    The other thing that I find to be very important (and I believe this is part of the Serotta system) is looking at whether you'll need to shoe inserts to deal with incipient knee or ankle issues that can creep up over long hours in the saddle.
    I'll make sure to mention it if it's not part of the system. The Serotta fit uses video analysis of ride position against wireframe models, so I'm almost certain shoe inserts and/or pedal spacers are taken into consideration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Due to monetary constraints, I'm starting out with the LHT complete build and adjusting appropriately with different stem, bars, levers, seatpost, etc. as necessary. If a different fork is needed due to the stock fork coming pre-cut and possibly being too short, then I can look into a different fork initially. I will keep the fork swap in mind since I do use a h'bar bag. Right now I'm not very happy with the mounting of the bag I have because it sits too high. In looking at most brevet bikes, h'bar bags are mounted low with the top of the bag just coming even with the top of the bars. I have a small platform front rack I'll be transferring to the bike, and I believe I can use an accessory mount like the Spacebar to lower the mounting point where the h'bar bag will also rest on the front rack for added stability.


    I'll make sure to mention it if it's not part of the system. The Serotta fit uses video analysis of ride position against wireframe models, so I'm almost certain shoe inserts and/or pedal spacers are taken into consideration.
    The stock LHT now comes with an uncut fork. The fork was cut on the first batch of LHT completes, but not any more, unless the LBS does it.

    I have a LHT, and IMO, it's a little more bike then I would want to use for long-distance events. It's great at what it's designed to do (loaded touring) but is a bit heavy for general LD riding. And I'm not into the wide-ratio cassette that is supplied with the stock bike. It's great for touring in hilly terrain, but the wide ratios make the bike less than ideal for riding in a group, especially a paceline. But don't get me wrong, the LHT is a fantastic bike. It's just very purpose-oriented.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    The stock LHT now comes with an uncut fork. The fork was cut on the first batch of LHT completes, but not any more, unless the LBS does it.

    I have a LHT, and IMO, it's a little more bike then I would want to use for long-distance events. It's great at what it's designed to do (loaded touring) but is a bit heavy for general LD riding. And I'm not into the wide-ratio cassette that is supplied with the stock bike. It's great for touring in hilly terrain, but the wide ratios make the bike less than ideal for riding in a group, especially a paceline. But don't get me wrong, the LHT is a fantastic bike. It's just very purpose-oriented.
    Great news that the fork comes uncut now. I was concerned about having to buy a new one right off the bat.

    I'm not a big fan of the stock drivetrain on the LHT because I don't plan on any loaded touring, but my choices came down to these:
    Drop even more money into a 17 y/o commuter MTB to keep it rolling, but then I have no money to put into an LD specific rig.
    Get an LD specific bike and have no money for keeping the commuter on the road, and have a bike that's not really great for commuting.
    Get the LHT complete as a replacement for the commuter bike, and it can double up as my LD rig. Not really specific to either purpose, but it works well enough for either one. As I get the money saved up, I'm going to replace the drivetrain with 10sp 105 and a compact double crank instead of the bulky stock touring setup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    The stock LHT now comes with an uncut fork. The fork was cut on the first batch of LHT completes, but not any more, unless the LBS does it.

    I have a LHT, and IMO, it's a little more bike then I would want to use for long-distance events. It's great at what it's designed to do (loaded touring) but is a bit heavy for general LD riding. And I'm not into the wide-ratio cassette that is supplied with the stock bike. It's great for touring in hilly terrain, but the wide ratios make the bike less than ideal for riding in a group, especially a paceline. But don't get me wrong, the LHT is a fantastic bike. It's just very purpose-oriented.
    just as a slight tangent, I rode a loaded touring bike (a Trek 520) on my first year of brevets and while I agree that it was a little ponderous, I didn't have problems riding in a group, as the New England randonneuring scene tends to be fairly varied, with converted tourists joining former racers in these brevets. If your local club is fairly large, being left alone shouldn't be that big of a worry.

    I also found the wide gear ratios as very handy for hilly terrain, which constitutes a large portion of our typical route setups.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    just as a slight tangent, I rode a loaded touring bike (a Trek 520) on my first year of brevets and while I agree that it was a little ponderous, I didn't have problems riding in a group, as the New England randonneuring scene tends to be fairly varied, with converted tourists joining former racers in these brevets. If your local club is fairly large, being left alone shouldn't be that big of a worry.

    I also found the wide gear ratios as very handy for hilly terrain, which constitutes a large portion of our typical route setups.
    SIR (Seattle Int'l Randonneurs) is a pretty large group, and there's also Cascade Bicycle Club which is fairly gigantic. There's plenty of varied pace that I'm not too worried about finding a group which my pace fits into.
    The terrain around here is fairly hilly, and many of the century (or longer) rides have 5000+ feet of gain, so I think that until I really get my legs back under me for LD riding, I'll appreciate having the wider range of gears to spin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Great news that the fork comes uncut now. I was concerned about having to buy a new one right off the bat.

    I'm not a big fan of the stock drivetrain on the LHT because I don't plan on any loaded touring, but my choices came down to these:
    Drop even more money into a 17 y/o commuter MTB to keep it rolling, but then I have no money to put into an LD specific rig.
    Get an LD specific bike and have no money for keeping the commuter on the road, and have a bike that's not really great for commuting.
    Get the LHT complete as a replacement for the commuter bike, and it can double up as my LD rig. Not really specific to either purpose, but it works well enough for either one. As I get the money saved up, I'm going to replace the drivetrain with 10sp 105 and a compact double crank instead of the bulky stock touring setup.
    That makes sense. I wasn't trying to be negative, really. You'll love your LHT. I use mine for long-distance commuting and couldn't be happier with it. I put an average of 750 commuting miles a month on it... it fits me so well it feels like an extension of my body.

    To "dial in" the fit on the Surly, I just put on a 100cm stem with drop, changed the saddle to a brooks, and it fit right after a few minutes of tweaking. I have a Surly complete with a cut steerer - and it's the perfect length for me. I don't think there is anything in particular to watch out for with the Surly with regard to fit... the geometry is time-tested and, for me at least, is perfect.

    I wish my most recent acquisition were as easy to dial in as the Surly - I just got a dedicated LD bike (Salsa Casseroll) and am having some trouble getting it to work for me. I'm going to get a shorter stem and cut the steerer tube down further... the steering feels too fast and I'm too stretched out...

    Good luck!

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of the stock drivetrain on the LHT because I don't plan on any loaded touring.... As I get the money saved up, I'm going to replace the drivetrain with 10sp 105 and a compact double crank instead of the bulky stock touring setup.
    Personally, I'd pass on the LHT. The geometry is made for touring, not LD or commuting, so the handling will be rather sluggish.

    Surly Cross-Check is probably a much better option. The existing stock crank can be set up as a compact double, in fact your LBS will probably do that at no cost. As parts wear out you can upgrade to 105. Or, similar bikes like Bianchi Volpe, Jamis Satellite, Specialized Sequoia.

    As to the fit, just be willing to tweak it as you get more used to the bike. It will probably take a few 70+ mile rides for you to figure out what does and does not work for the fit.

  10. #10
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    btw clifton yer avatar is awesome!
    Mistakes are just fine. Just don't make excuses....

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    I'm sure the LHT will be fine. It might cost you five or ten minutes during PBP. You'll have to find a way to live with that.

    As to the topic, IMO too much can be made of bike fit. There are any number of charlatans looking to charge you $100, $200, or even more, to sell you the idea that "perfect" bike fit will magically improve your performance. It's mostly BS, again IMO.

    As simply as possible: find your inseam measurement by standing against a wall in your socks. Jam a book up your crotch until it firmly contacts you ischial tuberosites, AKA the sit bones. Mark the height of the book against the wall and measure it. Multiply this number by .65 to get your frame size, center-to-center. Multiply the inseam number by .883 to get your seat height, from pedal to top of saddle. There is some "fudge factor" in this number, for personal preference, but all by itself it will be "correct".

    Now that your frame size and seat height are good, sit on the saddle with one pedal in the forward postion. Drop a line from the front of that knee. It should intersect the pedal spindle or fall a bit behind it. Again there is room for personal preference, but again, this method will get you into the "correct" position.

    Upper body doesn't have "easy" formulae. Rules of thumb include setting your bars three to five cm below the level of the saddle, and using a stem length that causes the bars to block your view of the front hub while riding on the brake lever hoods. There is a lot more leeway here than with the saddle/frame adjuctments, but also more room to screw it up. Again, though, if you follow the guidelines you won't be far from the truth. Just bear in mind that many LDers use shorter and higher stem positions than do the racers -- and that's fine, even if the racers say otherwise.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'm sure the LHT will be fine. It might cost you five or ten minutes during PBP. You'll have to find a way to live with that.

    As to the topic, IMO too much can be made of bike fit. There are any number of charlatans looking to charge you $100, $200, or even more, to sell you the idea that "perfect" bike fit will magically improve your performance. It's mostly BS, again IMO.
    I've seen all the formulaic methods for adjusting comfortable fit, and I'll be honest about it; after 17 years, I'll spend the $100 for them to do all the video and computer analysis and have the shop guys tweak and adjust things for me upon delivery. Will it improve my performance? Not really. Will I be more comfortable, and spend more time on my bike, thereby improving my performance? That's a more likely option. I've thought quite a bit about what I want from this bike, and I've bounced back and forth in my decision making process before deciding that the stock LHT is the best starting platform for me to work with. The custom fitting is just an extra perk for myself to get it dialed in without too much effort on my part.

    I went with the LHT over the X-Check for a few reasons: I'm a big guy and I'm most comfortable riding fairly upright. A touring setup is going to be most comfortable for me in the long run. I've got some early onset arthritis in my hands and wrists, so keeping the pressure off them is a good idea. I like the stock wheels on the LHT over the X-Check because of my size. 235 pounds puts some hurt on a bike, even if you ride carefully. The 36h XT hubs and Adventurer wheels are strong starting platform. I don't mind the slack geometry of the LHT with its longer stays. It's a stable platform, and I'm not looking for a twitchy racer; I want the all day comfort of a touring style setup even at the cost of some speed.

    As for a ten minute cost over 1200Km, I'll have to learn to cope. I'll start saving for therapy so that my 30 second slower finish at StP next fall won't damage me too much. hehehe Right now, doubles are about the longest rides I have plans for. Maybe in the future if I'm putting in longer miles, I'll find that I need to go with a different setup.
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    Clifton, in my 100% honest, former-track-racing-coach-for-world-champions opinion, anyone with 17 years' experience in this sport is almost certain to know more about bike fit than the typical bike shop "fitting expert".

    But hey, if that $100 gives you confidence that your position was established by an "expert", well, it's probably better than most of the ways you waste your money.
    Last edited by Six jours; 12-13-07 at 11:27 PM.

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    Oh, and as far as the performance of the LHT, I'd be interested in hearing details from the folks who think it won't work as well for you as another bike. IMO, the only serious knock against it (Me and some of the other snobs would probably prefer "rando-specific" geometry, though I doubt like hell it adds anything but the enjoyment of snobbery to our rides) is weight, which can't be more than a few pounds -- and is probably a good thing considering your weight.

    Bicycle Quarterly did a test of, among other things, the effects of a few extra pounds of bike weight over the course of PBP. I don't have the issue right in front of me, but the gist of it was that weight was fairly far down the list of things that will slow you down. Unless you're 6'9", diet and exercise will net you far more weight savings than the most expensive unobtanium frameset ever could. But you already knew that...

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    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Oh, and as far as the performance of the LHT, I'd be interested in hearing details from the folks who think it won't work as well for you as another bike. IMO, the only serious knock against it (Me and some of the other snobs would probably prefer "rando-specific" geometry, though I doubt like hell it adds anything but the enjoyment of snobbery to our rides) is weight, which can't be more than a few pounds -- and is probably a good thing considering your weight.

    Bicycle Quarterly did a test of, among other things, the effects of a few extra pounds of bike weight over the course of PBP. I don't have the issue right in front of me, but the gist of it was that weight was fairly far down the list of things that will slow you down. Unless you're 6'9", diet and exercise will net you far more weight savings than the most expensive unobtanium frameset ever could. But you already knew that...

    What would a "rando-specific geometry" be, or what would be the key characteristics?

    Road Fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Oh, and as far as the performance of the LHT, I'd be interested in hearing details from the folks who think it won't work as well for you as another bike. IMO, the only serious knock against it (Me and some of the other snobs would probably prefer "rando-specific" geometry, though I doubt like hell it adds anything but the enjoyment of snobbery to our rides) is weight, which can't be more than a few pounds -- and is probably a good thing considering your weight.

    Bicycle Quarterly did a test of, among other things, the effects of a few extra pounds of bike weight over the course of PBP. I don't have the issue right in front of me, but the gist of it was that weight was fairly far down the list of things that will slow you down. Unless you're 6'9", diet and exercise will net you far more weight savings than the most expensive unobtanium frameset ever could. But you already knew that...
    Just FYI - my LHT headset, frame, and fork weigh 7.5 lbs. My guess is that most rando-style bike frames (if there really is such a thing) like the Bilenky, Velo-orange; etc weigh about 6 lbs... there is really not much of a weight penalty with the LHT. And the Surly cross check frame and fork is only a half-pound lighter than the LHT. The LHT wouldn't be my first choice for LD riding, but IMO it's still a good choice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Oh, and as far as the performance of the LHT, I'd be interested in hearing details from the folks who think it won't work as well for you as another bike. IMO, the only serious knock against it (Me and some of the other snobs would probably prefer "rando-specific" geometry, though I doubt like hell it adds anything but the enjoyment of snobbery to our rides) is weight, which can't be more than a few pounds -- and is probably a good thing considering your weight.

    Bicycle Quarterly did a test of, among other things, the effects of a few extra pounds of bike weight over the course of PBP. I don't have the issue right in front of me, but the gist of it was that weight was fairly far down the list of things that will slow you down. Unless you're 6'9", diet and exercise will net you far more weight savings than the most expensive unobtanium frameset ever could. But you already knew that...
    Close guess, actually. 6'6". 235 is getting close to my low-end weight. I've got a wide build, so even a drop to 7% bodyfat would only get me down to 205 pounds. My goal by next summer is to be around 215. I started 2007 at 262.

    As for the fitting, it's less that the $$ will give me confidence in an expert fit (although the tech I'm seeing was a Cat2 racer at one time, and now rides with Seattle Int'l Randonneurs), and more that I feel entitled to treat myself to someone else doing all the fiddling with measurements and plumb lines and bar tape and brake hood adjustments and so on.
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    CliftonGK1,
    I have an LHT and it is a wondeful bike. I built mine up from the frame with lots of racks for full touring and it weighs about 32 lb before water bottles, etc. It is a 54 cm so it has 26" wheels with 26 x 1.75 Conti Travel Contact tires. I also have a Specialized Roubiax Expert (also a wonderful bike) which starts out at just under 20 lb with a small Bagman rack and a Brooks Team Professional saddle, hand-built wheels with various tires 700 x 23 c. (It is about 18 lb stock.) Other than their relaxed geometry, it is hard to imagine two long distance oriented bikes that are more different.

    In about October I got a Garmin Edge 305 GPS unit and started tracking my usual 40 to 75 mile rides. Since I live in a valley, almost every ride has at least two multi-mile hills of 4 to 10% and often greater. Having acquired some duplicate rides using LHT and Roubaix on the same routes I went back to check to see how much faster the Roubaix was. To my surprise, there is no real difference in average round trip speed between the two of them! In fact, for the 40 mile trip I do most often the LHT has been the fastest albeit by an insignificant amount.

    I am planning on acquiring more data on this and looking at differences between average speeds on uphill and downhill segments. Still, I am surprised by these quantitative results and would only note--as six jours did above--that this is consistent with the analysis on PBP data published recently in Bicycle Quarterly.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    CliftonGK1,
    I have an LHT and it is a wondeful bike. I built mine up from the frame with lots of racks for full touring and it weighs about 32 lb before water bottles, etc. It is a 54 cm so it has 26" wheels with 26 x 1.75 Conti Travel Contact tires. I also have a Specialized Roubiax Expert (also a wonderful bike) which starts out at just under 20 lb with a small Bagman rack and a Brooks Team Professional saddle, hand-built wheels with various tires 700 x 23 c. (It is about 18 lb stock.) Other than their relaxed geometry, it is hard to imagine two long distance oriented bikes that are more different.
    Sounds like a nice build you've done. I'm not going with full touring racks; I've got a full rear rack, and a small 'bag-rest' style front rack. (It's the $7 Nashbar equivalent to the Nitto M12.) Although the weight is higher, I like the look of the Honjo or Berthoud stainless fenders. The only question I have about them is this: With the crown mounting of the front fender, can you still mount the 'tab style' fork crown mounting bolt for the front rack?
    I can understand what some people have mentioned about slack geometry, and wanting something faster for an LD bike if you're looking for improved ride times. I'm less concerned about times, and more concerned with the overall comfort with spending all day in my (well worn in Brooks) saddle. If only the PDG Series-5 I got was a larger frame, that would be the bike I'd deck out for LD riding. It's light, the geometry is tight and fast, and the steel frame rides like a dream. Plus the price was right (free, paid for shipping only.) I had even considered a full carbon bike for a while during my flip flopping decision process, but it all came down to price versus overall utility, and the LHT won out because it's going to replace both my commuter and my ill-fitting road bike at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    In about October I got a Garmin Edge 305 GPS unit and started tracking my usual 40 to 75 mile rides. Since I live in a valley, almost every ride has at least two multi-mile hills of 4 to 10% and often greater. Having acquired some duplicate rides using LHT and Roubaix on the same routes I went back to check to see how much faster the Roubaix was. To my surprise, there is no real difference in average round trip speed between the two of them! In fact, for the 40 mile trip I do most often the LHT has been the fastest albeit by an insignificant amount.
    I've seen a big difference between my commuter (a rigid Stumpjumper with 1.75 Marathon+ tires) versus my road bike (PDG Series-5 with 25mm Ultra Gatorskins) but that's to be expected. Would I expect to see the same difference between the LHT with 28mm tires, and the PDG? Not really.
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  20. #20
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'm sure the LHT will be fine. It might cost you five or ten minutes during PBP. You'll have to find a way to live with that.
    Actually, compared to a true racing bike, it's probably more like 3 hours on the PBP. But who's counting?

    Heh... Seriously, I think the major issue won't be performance, it will be handling. The LHT's geometry is set up specifically to be stable while loaded, so it will feel sluggish. If this doesn't bug the OP, then more power to him.



    Quote Originally Posted by six jours
    As to the topic, IMO too much can be made of bike fit. There are any number of charlatans looking to charge you $100, $200, or even more, to sell you the idea that "perfect" bike fit will magically improve your performance. It's mostly BS, again IMO....
    If you mean "the bike shop is promising that the fit will make me faster," I have NEVER heard a shop make that claim. "Fit" is pretty much about being comfortable in the position that suits your riding style, period.

    As to the expertise of the shop, obviously that will vary. The OP has confidence in his LBS, so I guess he'll see if that confidence is justified.

    CliftonGK1: Methinks you're suffering a few misconceptions about the CC. The wheels are rock solid, and it is definitely not a "twitchy racer." But, let us know what you think when you've finished your first double century.

    As to the hands, you may want to swap out the stock LHT handlebars for something like the Nitto Noodle Bars. They sweep back a little bit, so the tops are in a more natural position.

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    When you get your bike built up, leave an extra inch of steering tube above where you think you'll want the stem to be (just put some spacers above the stem). That way you can always move the stem up if you need to, either because you find you prefer it higher, or temporarily if you were injured or found you had Shermer's neck on a long ride, and the higher bars would help.

    It won't hurt anything, except it won't look stylish, and you can always get it cut off once you discover after a year of LD exactly where you want the bars to be.

    As to the fitting, I'd be very skeptical of advice from anyone who has not ridden a 600K. Riding a century is fairly do-able for anyone in decent shape, almost regardless of fit. Riding a double century, you really start getting an idea. Riding 375 miles across two days can't be fudged. If the bike doesn't fit right, it can be a ride-ending event. Someone who has ridden a 600K is going to look at you and (I'm guessing, given your weight and time-since-last-serious-bike-riding) put you much more upright than someone who has ridden at most a century and has no idea how painful it can be to have your handlebars too low for 40 hours.

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    As to the hands, you may want to swap out the stock LHT handlebars for something like the Nitto Noodle Bars. They sweep back a little bit, so the tops are in a more natural position.
    Funny you should mention the Noodle bars, because that's one of the bars I get to try out tomorrow during my appointment. Noodles, and Nitto Randonneurs, and any others I'm interested in, actually.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    What would a "rando-specific geometry" be, or what would be the key characteristics?
    Well, when I think of a rando bike I think of classic French style geometry, which for the most part just means a moderate (73 or so) head angle with lots of rake, like 60mm. With wide tires, this results in a bike that is stable at lower speeds without being tank-like. In truth, about the only difference between that geometry and the typical modern geometry is the fork rake: modern bikes tend to come with 40-45mm of rake, which works fine with narrow tires and higher speeds (like 20 to 60 MPH), but not so well with wider tires and lower speeds (like 15-20 MPH.)

  24. #24
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Well, after the fitting the LHT is out of the running and the X-Check and the Bianchi Volpe are the two front runners, with the X-Check taking the lead based on the compact double crank and the stock setup matching closest to what I actually need.
    The LHT lost out on a few factors; namely overall geometry. The chainstay length and stock componentry lost out over the X-Check for a few factors: The X-Check has a better geometry based on the overall frame geometry when looking at swapping out components. The stack height ends up lower on the headset, and the seat needs far less adjustment with things like laid-back post, etc... The X-Check is a more appropriate frame to my commuting/LD needs, as opposed to the LHT's touring setup. So aside from geometry, I can save some weight in components, too.
    I was impressed with the fitting process, and even moreso with the post fitting elimination process for frames which would not fit me (even though they were in stock and I could have left with one today.) The shop has still not steered me wrong, IMO, and I will be ordering an X-Check in a couple days which they will fit with new bars and my worn-in Brooks; and fit it to my specs which are stored in the computer there. (plus I have a printout of them, too.)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    For me, the issue with the X-check as a long distance bike is the height of the bottom bracket. I would prefer more drop. The Gunnar Sport has 80mm BB drop vs the 66 on the X-check. The greater drop affords both a lower center of gravity and a longer effective head tube length which are both important on a bike setup for distance riding. The Gunnar Sport also has a longer actual head tube length. Just something to consider.

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