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  1. #1
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    seat height, handle bar height question

    I'm pretty new to the road scene, mostly dirt, hard trails and jumping on a very small MTB (14" frame, 26" wheels) and I'm trying to get my bike setup. I bought a GMC denali from walmart just to see if I even like road, and for the most part, I do.

    My biggest question, I keep seeing pics of everyone else's bikes, and there seems to always be alot of seat post showing on them all, with the GMC I bought, there is maybe 3" showing. Is this because I bought a bike too big for me, and I need a smaller frame? I do end up upgrading part by part until I have built a completely different bike, so if the bike is too big, the frame will be a sooner investment to parts than later.

  2. #2
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    First step is to find the right size bike. Don't worry about how much seatpost showing, just find the right size and fit. How much seatpost is showing is a byproduct of bike frame design and the size of the bike frame.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kv501's Avatar
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    It depends on whether your fit is correct (or close to it). Drop, which is the vertical distance between your saddle and handlebars, is mostly personal preference and comfort. Some people can get huge amounts of drop and some not any at all. People do this for aesthetic reasons as well as getting a low profile in the wind. I wouldn't worry so much about this yet.

    What you need to be concerned with first is your saddle height relative to the bottom bracket, and the saddle fore/aft position. This is going to make sure you are in the right position to be as efficient and powerful as possible. Some people use the KOPS method (you can google it; it's generally best only as a starting point) to get close front to back, and by setting their height so that when the pedal is in a 6:00 position and you touch your heel to it, your leg is straight. Again these are only rough starting points and many people vary their position from this. After that you can start tweaking stem lengths, etc. to suit your individual riding style.

    It sounds like your best bet would be to find a reputable shop that does fitting. As an alternative, some people here will post pictures of themselves in different positions on the bike (hands in the drops, flats, legs at the top and bottom of the stroke, etc) and usually you can get some helpful information.

  4. #4
    Keep on climbing
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    There are any number of "fit calculators" on the web that will get you within the ball-park concerning saddle height, reach to the handlebars, etc. I wouldn't take any of the fit calculators as the Gospel Truth, but they'll get you pretty close (+/- one centimeter, I'd imagine).

    If you can get your bike setup to be what the fit calculators say, and you have a bit of "wiggle room" either way to adjust for your preferences, I wouldn't worry about the frame size or how much seatpost is showing, etc.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    The Denali is a bike you don't upgrade except for the seat.

    Use it for what it is, save up for a better bike, and sell it.

    The bike is either too big, unlikely if you value your privates
    and can stand over the top tube, or you are not used to the
    the proper set up of a road bikes saddle height, set too low.

    rgds, sreten.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Will Goes Boing's Avatar
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    My guess is that when you're at a stop, you're able to sit on the saddle. Am I correct?

  7. #7
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    I can barely touch the ground when I'm at a stop if I'm on the saddle. As for proper leg extension, I'm pretty sure I got that right, legs almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The size calculators say I should be on something 3cm smaller, but I can ride the bike well enough, except for the actual getting on it thing.
    As for the "upgrading" the bike, Its more of an excuse to build a full bike myself without the wife knowing how much it actually costs. Piece by piece until its a completely different bike.

    and I found a wall of text on KOPS on sheldonbrown.... time to get to reading, hah.

  8. #8
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    I did read a thread on these forums about the handlebar to seat height, they talked about needing the flexibility needed to so they can get into the extreme aero positions, and that isn't really what I'm looking for, I guess from what you guys said, it doesn't matter where its positioned, as long as it fits right.

  9. #9
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    Hi,

    The geometry of the various sizes of GMC Denali's is different.

    The medium, shaped like a compact, will show more seatpost
    relatively than the shaped like a road bike large and x large.

    The front tube end looks identical on the medium and large,
    longer on the x large, the effective difference in real geometry
    of the medium and large is hard to judge. The medium clearly
    has lower standover height but I can't see any real differences.

    rgds, sreten.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Will Goes Boing's Avatar
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    If you're getting the proper leg extension and there is only 3" of seat post showing most likely the frame is too big... or you just have really short legs. When you are ready to buy a new bike or new frame, go to your LBS and get properly sized.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    If you're getting the proper leg extension and there is only 3" of seat post showing most likely the frame is too big... or you just have really short legs. When you are ready to buy a new bike or new frame, go to your LBS and get properly sized.
    Hi,

    My point was the medium will have much more seatpost extension than
    the large does for not much difference in fit. I can't reach the ground
    on my folder or road bike with the right saddle height *. On my road
    bike compact my saddle stem is 6" for about 1" standover clearance.

    No road bike with a 3" saddle stem would fit me without me having to
    be very careful about my bits. I'm 50+ so nothing radical involved here.
    Then again it would be about right if I always stopped in the saddle.

    rgds, sreten.

    Very average dimensions, nothing unusual.

    * And can't see how anyone could, with the right saddle height.
    I can in the saddle by falling over to one side, and can start from
    there, but its easier to come out of the saddle to stop and start.
    Last edited by sreten; 06-13-13 at 04:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have the large version, It was the only one my local store carried. Is there a difference between the feel of a "compact" frame you mentioned, or a regular frame? I was looking at a frame on performance bike https://www.performancebike.com/bike...ductId=1104379 52cm or possibly the 50.

    It's a cheap frame, but I have the equivalent as a mountian bike frame https://www.performancebike.com/bike...551_1104387_-1 in the 14in and have to say I really like it, build and weight is amazing.

    Back on subject, Ya, my legs are kind of short. I'm 5'8" with I think a 30" inseam. Would this different frame change the feel of the bike alot? Like, seat post showing more, and handlebar position, etc...

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