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A few more beginner questions

Old 07-25-11, 01:31 PM
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A few more beginner questions

Hi again BF friends,

Yesterday I raised my saddle (less than half an inch), which changed the way the bike handled a bit. The front wheel seemed to want to jacknife in turns at first, but I got used to turning again after practicing so I don't think there is a problem with that. However, the saddle is now a little uncomfortable at the front. And although the saddle still looks level, when I slide forward off of it when I stop, it feels that I am having to slide "over" the nose of the saddle to dismount. Perhaps that's only because it's higher now?

I also still feel that I need to scoot back a little while I'm riding to get off the nose of the saddle, as before.

Also, since the seatpost is angled, raising it should put it a little farther back, so I was hoping it would get the knee over pedal spindle thing right, but I checked it and I think my knee is still a little (an inch?) forward. I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly, though. The pedals might not have been in the perfect place when I checked. How much does this matter for casual riding?

Anyway, my questions are, should I try to move the saddle forward or backward any, and should I try to tilt it down at the front very slightly? Or should I just lower it back to where it was before I raised it this last time? I think I now have it very close to the right height, as my knees have a slight bend during the bottom of the pedal stroke. They didn't have a whole lot of bend before I raised it this last time, but I think the new height is probably closer to what it should be.

The handlebar reach seems to be OK, but I'm not sure of that either, since I seem to wind up feeling that I'm a little too far forward on the saddle and then I scoot back. My arms have only a little bit of bend at the elbow and in my very short rides my arms aren't uncomfortable. But I can't see myself on the bike, and I'm not sure what the *correct* positions of all these things would be even if I could. (the beginner thing)

I think the bike is the right size for me (XS 13.5, I'm a shade under 5'3", and the seatpost isn't extended much and the seat is still lower than where the handlebars attach). Trek 7100 women's if that matters. I just casually ride in my immediate hilly neighborhood.

The knee over spindle thing would seem to indicate I need to move it back a little, but feeling that I'm sitting too much on the saddle nose would seem that I need to move it forward a little. And now the nose is somewhat poking me since I raised the saddle. I'm totally confused. Or should I just ride it for awhile as is and see if I get used to it? Please advise.

Or do the seat and handlebars both need to come backward some? But the handlebars already look high relative to the seat and that would make them even higher. My head is spinning. LOL

On another note, yesterday when I was practicing circling/turning, the front brake pad was briefly rubbing the rim in some of the turns, not constantly, just for a second every now and then, and not when going straight. Not enough to slow the bike, but just enough to make a sound. I have not noticed this before. Is this normal, or is it probably just the cables stretching a little because it's a brand new bike? When I get more miles on it, I will take it back for its free post-purchase tuneup, but it only has 10-15 miles on it, so I want to wait a little longer. If I could easily get it to the bike shop, I'd ask them, but I can't, so I'm asking here. Thanks for your help!

Sorry for the long post but I don't know the brief way to describe these problems.
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Old 07-25-11, 01:49 PM
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Here's a picture too.
BTW: No more problems so far with the chain coming off. Making some progress with the gears.
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bike seat raised.jpg (100.1 KB, 32 views)

Last edited by goagain; 07-25-11 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 07-25-11, 02:18 PM
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if you feel you are sitting on the nose of the seat ,yes move it forward a bit, do it a little at a time until it feel right to you and try to keep it level . if it go up to high ,it feel like you being push backward and the handlebars feel to far away . if it to low then you be pushing yourself back onto seat and the wight will be felt in your arms and hands . with your stem you can bring the handlebars closer to you if you need to .
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Old 07-25-11, 03:24 PM
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If that is the new position for the saddle then truly all you need to do is reach forward a little more.

I'm also suspecting that with the bars THAT high and with your saddle to pedal space so short that this bike could well be way too large a frame for you. You obviously have a fairly short inseam given the saddle to pedals spacing. You may well be in a situation where you're reaching up SO high to get to the bars that you're sort of "sliding under" your arms which is causing you to slide forward onto the nose of the saddle. Sitting upright is one thing. But you should still be reaching comfortably down at the same time as forward to reach the grips on the bars. Even on a comfort bike, which this obviously is, you still want your hands to be at around waist height. Then move the bars forward or rearward as needed to get a comfortable reach with the amount of lean or no lean as you wish. Much higher than waist height and I don't doubt that it would begin to feel pretty awkward.

If, as I suspect, you are a bit short in the inseam department then a set of shorter arm 160mm or 165mm crank arms would suit you better. It'll slightly reduce the amount of knee joint flex and tune the pedal circle size more to a set of shorter legs.

If possible a picture taken by a friend of you riding your bike from the side would aid us in suggesting options. My thoughts above are guesses but I'll bet that I'm not far off the mark.
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Old 07-25-11, 09:27 PM
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Thanks, guys!

I don't think the frame could be much too big because it's the smallest size available, XS 13.5", and I'm almost 5'3". My pants inseam, depending on style of pants, is 28" or 29". I believe my hands are about at waist level, maybe a tiny bit higher, when I'm riding seated.

This style of bike just looks very tall at the front to me. The Giant Cypress seemed even taller, if I correctly recall.

After raising the saddle this last time, the bike handles differently in turns, which I'm not liking but I'm giving it more time and practice to hopefully get used to it. I don't want to raise it even higher so I really don't want to change the crank arms to shorter ones. Plus, I don't want to start replacing things on the bike. I would rather try to tweak the original things. I can ride it as is but it's not as comfortable as it was before I raised the saddle the last time.

So, for now should I try moving the saddle forward a little, and tip it down one notch? And what about the brakes touching the rim in some turns? Is the different handling in turns normal when the seat is raised about half an inch?

Also--How many miles should the bike have on it before I take it back for the free after-purchase tuneup? Thanks--

Last edited by goagain; 07-25-11 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 07-26-11, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by goagain
...After raising the saddle ...I really don't want to change the crank arms to shorter ones.
Why are you talking about shorter cranks and raising the seat in pretty much the same go?

Originally Posted by goagain
... And what about the brakes touching the rim in some turns?
There are a couple of options:
1) The cabling is usually good for some changes to bar position, but if the cable installation was marginal to begin with, a modest bar adjustment might cause the cable to go taut and activate the brake at turning. If installation was really poor, maybe it never worked OK.
2) Forks/wheels flex a little. Particularly sus forks flex at rather small provocation, which can cause rub. It's more aestethics than practical, but you can try backing the brakes out just a tad.
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