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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-08-08, 09:23 AM   #1
gfrance
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Getting my IRO fit right.....finally!

Last year, I participated in the IRO group buy. Assuming that because I had ridden a Trek 2300 for a number of years, sized '54', I would go with the IRO '53' as they both measure 54cm top tube. I am a hair under 5' 10" with a 32 and change cycling inseam. Well, let it now be said that there is way more to fit than just top tube measurement.

I got the 53 IRO and had it built up and fitted to replicate my previous Miyata conversion (which was a close fit but in hindsight, also too small). This picture shows how it looked at first. Notice the giant saddle to bar drop and amount of seatpost.




I rode it for a while like this, tried the stem flipped up, a stack of spacers, but still never got comfortable.

I had an extra road bar around, and thought I'd set it up with road bars and levers to see if I could get the bars a bit higher. (those Nitto bullhorns do have a pretty deep drop.)



Better but still too much saddle to bar drop and too much overall discomfort. So I decided to sell the frame and start over. I called Tony (should have done this on the group buy), and gave him my height and measurements and explained my problem. Tony suggested with confidence, that I ought to be on the 59cm size!!! So I bought a new Mark V, sold the group buy frame and rebuilt.

Now everything is so much better. The top tube is 57cm on the 59 size, but even with that I run a 110 stem. Saddle to bar drop is now only 4 or 5 cm and I'm still using about 3cm of spacers. Perfect for the kind of riding this bike sees. Notice too how much 'lower' the saddle seems on the frame (I have a collar for a blinkie light that makes it look even shorter). Need to get a new seat post that has no setback and it'll be finally done. Lots of headaches for sure.




I think in hindsight, I drank the Kool-Aid about running a slightly smaller bike than ideal. But, IROs just run much smaller than their stated size. A lot of it has to do with the head tube length (or low top tube).

Bottom line is there is way more to bike fit than "get the top tube right, and you'll be good to go".
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Old 04-08-08, 09:27 AM   #2
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Did you have a toe overlap problem on the smaller frame?
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Old 04-08-08, 09:37 AM   #3
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Did you have a toe overlap problem on the smaller frame?
Actually, I did not. (surprisingly)
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Old 04-08-08, 12:01 PM   #4
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The new bike looks "right". I would say you did good on trading up in size.
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Old 04-08-08, 12:11 PM   #5
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the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination
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Old 04-08-08, 12:34 PM   #6
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I'm about your same height and I'd never dream of building up a 57cm frame. In fact, I've owned a couple that were abandoned or given to me, and they felt just HUGE.

In college I spent a couple years riding a mountain bike that was way too big, and it colored how I perceived fit. It took a couple years of experimenting to figure out that a 53/54 is what I need. Anything larger and I can't comfortably reach the brakes on drop bars. What you want to avoid is the "superman" posture-- because you can't keep it up for more than 20 or 30 minutes without discomfort.
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Old 04-08-08, 12:39 PM   #7
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if you ask me the first pic looked good, but that's cause that's what 90% of bikes look like on here. i have no idea how bent you like to ride. etc.
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Old 04-08-08, 01:10 PM   #8
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Last pic looks very ideal for long road rides, set up like most road bikes I see in terms of bar-saddle drop.

But yeah you're right about frame fit being more important than just a TT length. It's TT length, ST length, angles of HT and ST... and probably more **** than I care to think about. Multifaceted for sure.

Well, judging further on the first pic, your post does look a bit too far out of the frame to be considered the proper frame size for you, by 2 or 3cm I'd say. So you have long legs and a short torso or what?
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Old 04-08-08, 01:21 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with a 53cm Mark V, so I went up to a 56cm Group Buy... It's better, but still a bit weird in that it's got a lot of drop despite being a hair too long. Kind of frustrating.
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Old 04-08-08, 01:23 PM   #10
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Too long of reach for the bars? How longs your stem?
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Old 04-08-08, 01:25 PM   #11
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Last pic looks very ideal for long road rides, set up like most road bikes I see in terms of bar-saddle drop.

But yeah you're right about frame fit being more important than just a TT length. It's TT length, ST length, angles of HT and ST... and probably more **** than I care to think about. Multifaceted for sure.

Well, judging further on the first pic, your post does look a bit too far out of the frame to be considered the proper frame size for you, by 2 or 3cm I'd say. So you have long legs and a short torso or what?
Good observation on all counts. Yes, I basically changed the whole thing from trackish set up to complete road, even going single speed over fixed (knee issues). And keep in mind, the IRO frames have a lot of seat tube above the top tube, so that first pic would be even more extreme if the frame were more 'normal' (and the bottom pic would look less short of a seat post as well). But to be honest I don't know my proportions--whether I'm long legged or short torso or whatever. I have a good road bike set up professionally fitted, and I have basically tried to mimic my IRO to that. It's working finally now.
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