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  1. #1
    apg
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    Customizing for height

    Hey guys-
    I'm got a 55cm frame I've built up and while I love it, it's a little small for me - 55cm. I'm wondering if there's a trick to make it feel more natural - like getting an extended stem or something?
    '73 Motobecane Mirage, '81 Raleigh Roadster, '88 Peugeot Santé (track converted)

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    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Is the saddle height right? A longer stem can help with fit on a bike that is too small.

  3. #3
    apg
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    Saddle is right. I've got a 90mm stem on it, I'm thinking I try a 110 or a 120mm. Any success with that?
    '73 Motobecane Mirage, '81 Raleigh Roadster, '88 Peugeot Santé (track converted)

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    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    I use to ride comfortably on a bike that was way too small for me with a 120mm stem. I actually liked the feel of the smaller bike quite a lot and I think this is part of what used to make a lot of fixed-gear dudes ride a too small bike.

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    I have a bike that is slightly big and using a 80-90mm stem makes it very comfortable
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  6. #6
    apg
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    Right. I feel like I see lots of people on frames too small with longer stems. Makes sense now. I'll find one. I'm guessing 120mm is max?
    '73 Motobecane Mirage, '81 Raleigh Roadster, '88 Peugeot Santé (track converted)

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    Might not make a huge difference but a set back seat post will give some extra room

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    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookypedal View Post
    Might not make a huge difference but a set back seat post will give some extra room
    You shouldn't try to adjust fit with the seat position. It is more important to get the correct positioning with respect to legs relative to the cranks. Dial in the seat position and then add length to the stem as needed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    You shouldn't try to adjust fit with the seat position. It is more important to get the correct positioning with respect to legs relative to the cranks. Dial in the seat position and then add length to the stem as needed.
    One more time, for the hard of hearing.

    USE A FIT CALCULATOR


    The simplest of forum searches would have revealed that. It is not a well hidden secret.
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  10. #10
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    ...fit calculator...
    That isn't terribly relevant to the OP's question and I'm not sure why you are quoting me or yelling.

  11. #11
    Bastard of Reality Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    How is using a fit calculator "not relevant" to the OP making changes to his bike to fit him? It would at least remove some of the guess work when it comes to getting a longer stem, etc.

  12. #12
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    OP's question was "Can the fit of a bike that is somewhat too small be accommodated with a longer stem?" The answer "use a fit calculator" isn't nearly as relevant as "yes" or "no". The fit calculator will make a recommendation about frame size. OP already has a frame so that doesn't help him. The fit calculator will make a recommendation about stem length, but that will only be with respect to its recommended frame size so that doesn't help OP either.

    edit: you edited your question after I posted this. I agree that the recommendation to use a fit calculator may help in making the best guess about the correct length of stem. My problem was that greg seemed to be saying "Don't listen to the guy telling you to get a longer stem rather than adjust the seat and instead use a fit calculator as anybody who reads the forum would." That didn't seem to helpful to me as it could be potentially misleading.
    Last edited by prooftheory; 11-25-13 at 09:23 AM.

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    Bastard of Reality Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    I agree, the simple math of adding the difference of the recommended top tube length to the recommended stem length would be far too difficult to process.

    Apologies for the intrusion.

  14. #14
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    The math isn't that easy. He shouldn't buy a hi-rise 120 stem and expect to get a lot of reach for instance. My personal feeling is that what OP should do is take his bike to a shop and have them see what they can do and that would be better than that using a fit calculator and ordering something off the internet. That way they can try different things and see how they work.

  15. #15
    apg
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    Okay, all good advice and thank you all for chiming in. I'll take a look at the calc., and will go visit Hal at Habitat for advice on what to do next. Thanks!
    '73 Motobecane Mirage, '81 Raleigh Roadster, '88 Peugeot Santé (track converted)

  16. #16
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    The math isn't that easy. He shouldn't buy a hi-rise 120 stem and expect to get a lot of reach for instance. My personal feeling is that what OP should do is take his bike to a shop and have them see what they can do and that would be better than that using a fit calculator and ordering something off the internet. That way they can try different things and see how they work.
    This is why I keep preaching that people need to develop a relationship with their lbs. Last time I was considering something like this, I took my bike to my lbs, we looked at a few necks, installed a couple, then I bought the one that seemed to do the job best.

    Seeing Scrod has waded into the fit calculator argument, I'm pretty sure if someone came into his shop asking for help, he'd send them away feeling comfortable that he'd sold them the right stem whereas if someone came in and said that the fit calculator said he needed such and such, Scrod would watch him walk away feeling fairly sure he'd see that customer again with the same problem.

    The internet is a wonderful thing but it can not replace an experienced human and anyone imagining that bike fit just comes down to numbers really does not understand the human body and its love/hate relationship with push bikes. Fit calculators MAY give a rough starting point, getting it right with the calculator is just dumb luck (you were lucky enough to fit that particular calculator's paradigm).

    Hmmph.

    Besides, if he feels cramped, just go for a longer stem and see what happens.

    Interestingly, and possibly irrelevant, I've recently fitted Retroshifters to my Europa to replace the ageing Brifters. Because of the different brake levers, I now have effectively 1cm or thereabouts more reach. When I first jump on the bike, it always feels way too stretched and aggressive ... 5km later, it's comfortable and an hour later, I've got none of the hand issues I used to get. Maybe this is a case of dumb luck working in my favour.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  17. #17
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    That isn't terribly relevant to the OP's question and I'm not sure why you are quoting me or yelling.
    Nothing at you at all---full support.

    "It is more important to get the correct positioning with respect to legs relative to the cranks. Dial in the seat position and then add length to the stem as needed."

    How do you get started with correct relative leg/crank position--dial in the seat.
    How to you know where to start--as posted before time, and time, and time and time, and time, and time......before----use a fit calculator to get started.
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  18. #18
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post

    How do you get started with correct relative leg/crank position--dial in the seat.
    How to you know where to start--as posted before time, and time, and time and time, and time, and time......before----use a fit calculator to get started.
    I would recommend doing a knee-over-pedal-spindle type fitting rather than using a calculator for determining saddle position. Some frame factors such as the seat tube angle have an effect on where the saddle ought to be and this isn't accounted for by fit-calculators.

  19. #19
    Bastard of Reality Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    I suggest the OP only ride his bike via the internet. Real life stuff fluctuates too much between overrated and underrated to provide any sort of reliable satisfaction.

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