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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 07-19-09, 02:48 PM   #1
CodyNJ
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Bike fitment problem

I've been riding bmx for years, but it was getting painful and I wanted a fun alternative, so I turned to fixed. I received my new Windsor Hour in the mail a week ago, and I'm not sure if I got the right size. I'm 5'11'' but I have very long arms/torso and short legs so I chose the 54cm. People keep saying a properly sized bike should allow for a fist length of seatpost, but then I it seems harder to pedal/mount and I have a terrible pain in my butt(the low quality seat doesn't help), but my arms feel comfortable. When I lower the seat post my pedaling is more natural but my arms don't seem to be anymore. Is there any way to resolve this or is the geometry of the frame just not for me? Can this be me used to a tiny 20'' bike and I just need to adapt to the new style of bike?
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Old 07-19-09, 03:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CodyNJ View Post
I've been riding bmx for years, but it was getting painful and I wanted a fun alternative, so I turned to fixed. I received my new Windsor Hour in the mail a week ago, and I'm not sure if I got the right size. I'm 5'11'' but I have very long arms/torso and short legs so I chose the 54cm. People keep saying a properly sized bike should allow for a fist length of seatpost, but then I it seems harder to pedal/mount and I have a terrible pain in my butt(the low quality seat doesn't help), but my arms feel comfortable. When I lower the seat post my pedaling is more natural but my arms don't seem to be anymore. Is there any way to resolve this or is the geometry of the frame just not for me? Can this be me used to a tiny 20'' bike and I just need to adapt to the new style of bike?
That bold statement is wrong wrong wrong, it applies to old fitment on old geometries, and doesn't take really anything into consideration.

You're leg should be very slightly bent at the knee when your leg is fully extended in the 6 o clock position.
Put your seat post where ever that applies.

Alternatively, try using this: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
Take all the measurements accurately, and it'll tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:23 PM   #3
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I used to ride a bike sized way too large for me, so I was used to riding with the seat low. Once I got my new bike (it's a 54cm too, although I'm 5'9" with short arms) and raised the seat to an appropriate level after some advice from this lovely forum (knee should be bent slightly with your leg fully extended when the pedals are at 6 oclock), pedalling got much tougher and I had a bit of muscle pain around the knee. After about a week, however, the pain went away and my cruising speed increased by an easy 5 mp/h. I believe (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, guys) that when your seat is too low, you carry a lot of your weight on your bones, but when you raise the seat to the proper height, your muscles carry more weight and it takes time to get used to that.

As for your reach problems after adjusting the seat height, I had a problem of a similar nature. Once I had my seat at the correct height, my 105mm stem was just a bit too long for comfort. When the seat was lower, I had a bit of bend in my elbows on the tops, which was perfect and comfortable. Once it was raised, my arms were totally straight - not a good thing for absorbing road shock. I swapped my 105mm stem for a 90mm stem and everything is golden now.

Can you describe what your arm problems are in more detail? Do they feel too cramped? Are the handlebars too close to you? You could even post a picture for the discerning minds of Bike Forums to look over.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:27 PM   #4
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I hope that no one was ever actually fit on a bike using the fist full of post method. That was more a comment on the result of the current trends in frame geometry. In fact, the measurement of the seatpost (which correlates into seat tube length) has nothing to do with proper frame sizing other than to help you avoid getting a frame that is too big. Proper frame sizing is determined primarily by the length of the top tube.

If your bike is properly fit with less than a fist full of seat post, then it is likely that the frame is either too large or the geometry used by that company does not fit you. Take your bike to a shop and have them fit you. Some shops will charge you $10-$20 to do it. Some will do it for free.

Also, I'd expect you to be pretty uncomfortable on a full size bike for a while since you're coming from riding BMX. The positions are very different.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:34 PM   #5
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Can you describe what your arm problems are in more detail?
It seems very cramped when I'm in a position where my legs are comfortable. I really notice it when I'm on the top of the bars. Riding in the drops allows me to extend out a bit more and then everything is fine. Shorter crank arms wouldn't affect this a lot would it?
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Old 07-19-09, 03:39 PM   #6
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It seems very cramped when I'm in a position where my legs are comfortable. I really notice it when I'm on the top of the bars. Riding in the drops allows me to extend out a bit more and then everything is fine. Shorter crank arms wouldn't affect this a lot would it?
saddle fore/aft might be off.
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Old 07-19-09, 04:05 PM   #7
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Personally, I think you are on too small of a frame, but coming off a BMX bike it will take you awhile to adjust to the new riding position anyway. I would have put you on at least a 56, more likely a 58 for a good road fit. If you are just going to use it for short rides around town and stunts, the 54 will probably work for you after you have some miles on it, but will never be really comfortable.
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Old 07-19-09, 08:47 PM   #8
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Too small, really? I'm not really doing tricks on it as much as using it as something comfortable that I can have a good time riding to work each day which is only four miles.
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Old 07-19-09, 09:18 PM   #9
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I've been riding bmx for years, but it was getting painful and I wanted a fun alternative, so I turned to fixed. I received my new Windsor Hour in the mail a week ago, and I'm not sure if I got the right size. I'm 5'11'' but I have very long arms/torso and short legs so I chose the 54cm. People keep saying a properly sized bike should allow for a fist length of seatpost, but then I it seems harder to pedal/mount and I have a terrible pain in my butt(the low quality seat doesn't help), but my arms feel comfortable. When I lower the seat post my pedaling is more natural but my arms don't seem to be anymore. Is there any way to resolve this or is the geometry of the frame just not for me? Can this be me used to a tiny 20'' bike and I just need to adapt to the new style of bike?
what do you mean by "arms feel uncomfortable"? can you be more specific about the type of pain and the exact location of the pain?
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Old 07-19-09, 09:32 PM   #10
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what do you mean by "arms feel uncomfortable"? can you be more specific about the type of pain and the exact location of the pain?
It's not pain as much as just feeling unnatural on the bike. I feel like I'm too close to what I'm holding whenever I'm on the tops of the bars
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Old 07-19-09, 09:45 PM   #11
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Roadies will pay $100-$400 for a proper fit!

Figure that will take a well trained person the better part of an hour at least.

I'm an "older guy, I just had a taylor fit a suit to me. A metric **** ton less time than I would spend fitting a bike for a novice was spent.

Most track style frames are "under square" the top tube is shorter than the seat tube. Road frames tend to be reversed.

I'm a bit odd in fit for a dude. My legs are long and I have a short torso. At 6' 1/2" most people would ride around a 57-58 seat tube with a 60 top tube ( for a road bike) I tend to fit a 60 seat tube by 58 top tube

Last edited by beer slayer; 07-19-09 at 10:15 PM. Reason: I'm not 6' 6"
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Old 07-19-09, 10:32 PM   #12
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It's not pain as much as just feeling unnatural on the bike. I feel like I'm too close to what I'm holding whenever I'm on the tops of the bars
longer stem.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:44 PM   #13
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So just keep my seat really low so my legs are good and extend my reach with a longer stem? That makes sense, thanks for the help. This was just a cheap buy to make sure I can stick with it. The next bike will be properly fitted
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Old 07-19-09, 10:46 PM   #14
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no.

dont keep your seat "really low" -- adjust your seatpost height so that your knees have a slight bend and so that your hips do not rock when you pedal.

longer stem, yes.
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Old 07-19-09, 11:18 PM   #15
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longer stem.
there's your solution, worth a shot.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:38 AM   #16
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The lesson I hope everyone takes away from this is that you shouldn't buy bikes online unless you have a pretty good idea of what you need.
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