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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    CX Bike Fit Questions

    Picked up a new Focus Mares Comp for my first "real" CycloCross bike. I've ridden a few races on my old flat-bar Trek Hybrid and wanted to move to an entry-level dedicated CX bike and turn the hybrid back into the grocery-getter.

    My question is this: with the seat set at the correct height for me (I'm 6'4" tall with a 36" inseam), the top of the bars are 3.75" lower than the top of the seat. I've read a ton of articles on setting up CX bikes, but most don't give any sort of actual range/numbers, but just usually recommend setting the bar height to saddle relationship about an inch higher than your roadbike.

    My roadbike is more of a tourer and set up with the seat height and bar height even. I don't race on the road and mostly do longer road rides (centuries) in the summer. My flat bar Trek is set up the same way.

    So naturally, riding the new Focus with almost a four-inch drop to the bars isn't too comfortable -- I took it out to the park yesterday and it felt like I had way too much weight over the front of the bike and really felt every bump and ripple being transferred through my arms to my shoulders.

    So, does anyone have their CX bike set up with that much of a drop from the seat to the bars? Where is everyone else at?

    I have the largest frame Focus makes in this bike (XXL/60), so it looks like my only alternative to raise the bars would be to use a steerer extender (which I've never used before -- anyone else?) or a stem with a *really* steep incline.

    Any thoughts/advice for a newbie?

  2. #2
    Surf Bum
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    I have about 2.5" to 3" drop on my own bike and fwiw I do see a lot of 'cross bikes set up with very minimal seat to bar drop. This may be a long shot since most handlebars these days are 31.8 diameter, but if yours are still the 25.8 diameter and you want to try a steep stem, I have a 120mm adjustable ITM stem sitting around here that I could loan you to mess around with different angles. If that would work for you, I can mail it out to you. It squeaks a little too much to want to keep it on forever, and you'll always have that "what if it slips" in the back of your mind (it never did slip on me but one still worries), but it's fine for test riding and I did ride many miles on trails with the thing back when I was messing with angles myself.

    Looks like this one: http://www.totalcycling.com/index.ph...urrency&id=USD

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatman52 View Post
    a stem with a *really* steep incline
    Such stems exist. Dimension and Salsa come to mind.

    If you've never ridden a road bike, it's going to feel a bit awkward. But also, if you want the bars higher, put 'em higher. Might want to look into bartop levers, they can help when you want to get your weight behind the saddle.

    Check this article out:
    http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_...izing_position

  4. #4
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    I picked up a steerer extender at my LBS yesterday. I'll mess with it today and Saturday, then race Sunday and see how things work out. Thanks to all for the advice/suggestions.

  5. #5
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Oval Concepts makes a nice stem, the R710, that you can rotate up or down by a big margin. I use it to lower my road bars for time trials, but it would work just as well raising bars. Mine is very short, so it's probably only good for an 1-1.5 inch adjustment, but a longer stem would give you proportionally more vertical adjustment. You do have to torque the heck out of the locking nut, but then it performs flawlessly.


    Look and Ritchey make analogous products.
    Last edited by SpongeDad; 11-12-10 at 09:23 AM.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

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