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Old 12-17-09, 10:26 PM   #1
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Greg LeMond on seatpost height?

I've been setting my bikes up using the method outlined in Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling (my dad gave me his old copy).
If I'm reading this right, with my 37" inseam, I should be on a 24.1" frame with a total distance from BB center to seat top of 32.7". I just got back from a ride and it feels pretty good but man, there's a lot of seatpost showing. Way more than the fistful that people talk about.
Then there's stem height. I've got just enough stem on this bike to meet Lemond's recomendation of 2"-3" below seat height, but nowhere near Sloane's recomendation of level with seat height. (dad gave me that one too).
What do you all think of this? Is he way outdated or does his system still hold true?
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Old 12-17-09, 11:29 PM   #2
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hmmm

in one sentence: ride what feels right to you and does not leave you sore after your rides.

It is a personal preference (along with pretty much everything else in cycling)...

A lot of it has to do with the way you ride, how long you ride and what you want to accomblish in your rides with a particular bike. In my book, as long as a. your seat post is high enough so your knees do not look like those of a playing mantis while you pedal and b, your back does not hurt from bending too much, it works. I like riding smaller than "recommeded" ST frames with small TTs, and long stems. And the nose of my saddle is (in most of my bikes) an inch or so ahead of the center of the BB/Crank (a no-no in more literature out there; but it works for me)
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Old 12-18-09, 12:42 AM   #3
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Drop bars tops can be anywhere from level with the seat to well below, depending on intended use and your own flexibility. The Sloane recommendation is how touring bikes are frequently set up while racers may go as low as 5" below saddle height. Use what is comfortable for you! Nobody knows your body like you do.
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Old 12-18-09, 04:20 AM   #4
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With a 37" inseam you're probably about 6'6" ~ 6'7" and a 24" frame won't come close to being big enough. A 24" frame is essentially a 60cm frame.

I'm 6'6" and I have a 98cm cycling inseam (different than just the pants inseam you wear). I've got several 63cm Cannondales that are 63cm c-c, and are 66cm to the top of the seat collars. They are MUCH too small. I scrounged up an old 1986 ST800 touring Cannondale because they made 'em in a 27" frame (its 68.5cm c-c, and 73cm to the top of the seat collar). This fits me perfectly. I threw some Zinn 205mm custom cranks on it and for the first time in my life I have a road bike that actually "fits".

I think the 24" frame is much too small for you. Most road bikes used to come in size increments of 1cm for a reason. With the advent of compact (sloping) geometry bicycle manufacturers would have you believe that the right fit bike can be anywhere in a 3cm range. The sloping top tube and compact geometry don't change the fact that the top tube length (even virtual) and the handlebar height are the critical elements to fit, and neither of those allows much variance without completely compromising fit, creating a sore neck, back, shoulders, wrists etc. and making the bike handle skittishly. However they don't have to make, or ship as many different bikes in a given product, and bike shops don't have to stock as many and can claim that what they have "fits" so they can sell 'em...

You need to determine your Pubic bone height and cycling inseam and go from there. There is a lot of misinformation out there in terms of bike fit, and most hard core cyclists colloquial knowledge is downright laughable. There is a reason that 95% of all cyclists spend 99% of the time on the hoods, because they can't comfortably ride in the drops because their bikes don't come close to being the proper size for them. The average roadie rides a bike between 3cm and 5cm too small. As a rule if you can't comfortably get in the hoods the bike is not fit properly for a healthy cyclist with no muscular or skeletal health issues.

Check out these two sources regarding bike fit:

Rivendell on Bike fit

Peter White on Bike Fit

Both of these sources know what they are talking about when it comes to fit not so much when it comes to recommending heavy inefficient wriggly steel frames that are ridiculously overpriced for what they are...

Once you know your cycling inseam look for the biggest frame you can 'comfortably' stand over. Standover clearance is the LAST thing you care about when selecting a frame size. You're not looking for anything other than the largest frame you can stand over without discomfort.

It is very difficult to raise the handlebars on a frame that is too small. There are compromises such as Nitto Technomic stems, and stem risers, but these are solutions for frames that are typically the wrong size to begin with or that didn't have the headtube extension (relative to seattube length) necessary for the cyclists preferred riding position.

I think you'll find that a 60cm or 24" frame is going to be MUCH too small for you, and that you should be looking at the largest frames either 63cm frames, or older 25" frames.

Greg Lemond's fit guidelines start to break down for taller cyclists because the seat tube angle on bigger frames is usually not optimal. You'll probably find that you can't use the KOPS (Knee over Pedal Spindle) philosophy either for the same reasons.

You're asking the right questions, but be aware that many pro cyclists (as in Tour de France riders) are constantly experimenting with saddle height, frame size, and crank length. You're going to struggle to get properly fit on anything because most cycling components are made for the little people.

Case in point if your cycling inseam is really 37" and that isn't just your pants inseam, your proportional crank length would be anywhere between a 197.5mm (conservative) and a 202.5mm crank. Compare that to the standard 175mm that is ubiquitous and you'll see just how far of you're going to be. 180mm cranks are uncommon but available, and you can get a 185mm crank from TA Specialites, but you're in the land of needing a custom crank.

Check out Custom Cranks in Germany for something very reasonable in a square taper crank: Customcranks.de

Zinn makes square taoer and integrated custom cranks (and custom bikes for tall cyclists): Zinncycles.com

Lemond follows the Italian traditions in terms of geometry and bike fit. I would disregard looking for a classic race bike fit, and find the largest bike you can stand over comfortably and be more concerned about handlebar height. You can ride a double century and keep up with fast group rides with the bars at or above saddle height, you'll enjoy the ride much more actually having the luxury of looking around and you won't get a sore neck. You'll also have the added benefit of laughing at all the roadies perched atop their clown bikes who couldn't reach their drops if their lives depending on it. They crack me up...why they use drop bars I have no idea. If you want to approximate the same fit as they do by all means stick with a 60cm or 24" frame.
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Old 12-18-09, 07:17 AM   #5
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LeMonds fit recommendations have been a good starting point for a long time but keep in mind that its race bike fit recommendation. Start there and tweak as needed to achieve a comfortable fit.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
Drop bars tops can be anywhere from level with the seat to well below, depending on intended use and your own flexibility. The Sloane recommendation is how touring bikes are frequently set up while racers may go as low as 5" below saddle height. Use what is comfortable for you! Nobody knows your body like you do.
This is a really good point. Consider the different backgrounds of Sloane and LeMond: accomplished touring rider versus a former road racer, one of the best in the world and a TdF winner. For many of us Sloan is going to be closer to our needs than LeMond, at least as far as bar height.

I've just gotten a bike I can set up with a fistfull of seatpost. It is 57 cm c-t with a 72 degree seat angle, and the standover is way higher than I've had in recent years. It's really close to the size that just can be stood over without discomfort. That tall style of sizing bikes was common back in Sloan's day, and today we sometimes call it a French Fit, after the discussion of fits at Colorado Cycle. FWiW it's a 1972 UO-8. The head tube is almost tall enough to set my bars level with the saddle with a standard stem. I'm using an SR that is as tall as a Nitto Technomic Deluxe. I'm considering going with a 175 mm crank on this, which will take the saddle down another 5 mm.

I've used the LeMond/Guimard method to set myself up, and I always end up adjusting it down a bit based on road experience. I don't think any simple equation can nail my saddle height. One adjustment I had that did nail it was to get fitted by a fitter who used a goniometer to set my saddle based on my knee angle. Max extension should be between 30 and 25 degrees (25 is straighter). In his latest monograph on fitting, Arnie Baker recommends this same technique. It worked quite well for me.

Functionally, the seat needs to be high enough that your knee extends well and has no pain in front. It needs to be low enough that your hips don't rock and you easily maintain pedal contact to pull back (foot scraping action) at stroke bottom.

Beyond that I use some fine points: can I spin ok? do I feel like I'm shoving my foot through the pedal at bottom? Is my thigh feeling constricted at top? Do I get power when I want it and smooth spinning when I want it? It takes me at least a few rides to set up a newly installed saddle. In the end, it's about long term comfort and ease of movement.

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Old 12-18-09, 11:28 AM   #7
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Top tube length has barely been touched upon here. I am currently riding 3 road bikes. A 52, a 54, and a 56cm frame. I am comfortable on all 3. The 52 and 54 frame have the same length top tube and I have the same length stem on both of them. The 56 has a longer tt and I have a shorter stem on it. The stem on the 56 is only 60mm long. I must have longer legs than normal for my height. It seems that most large frames have short top tubes and small frames have long top tubes. Most of the middle range frames have almost square dimensions. (54/54, 58/58) My 52 has an almost 54 tt. Your body proportions can have a major bearing on what size frame you will be comfortable on. Several fellas on this forum have stated that they ride a frame that they cannot stand over because they have a long torso and like the long tt. Many of the fellas say they like to see the front axle behind the bars when riding. I like to have the axle in front of the bars. If you are looking for a very areo position a smaller than normal frame will be required but you had better be flexable or you will not be able to ride very long. TRI bikes allow for an areo position but most of them have real steep seat tube angles to help the comfort level in the areo position. A good fit for someone six six is probably hard to find and if one is six six with short legs a good fit is probably available only from a custom frame shop. I am sure there are some tall riders on here that will have a much better feel for this than I. Good Luck
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Old 12-18-09, 12:23 PM   #8
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hmmm

in one sentence: ride what feels right to you and does not leave you sore after your rides.

It is a personal preference (along with pretty much everything else in cycling)...

A lot of it has to do with the way you ride, how long you ride and what you want to accomblish in your rides with a particular bike. In my book, as long as a. your seat post is high enough so your knees do not look like those of a playing mantis while you pedal and b, your back does not hurt from bending too much, it works. I like riding smaller than "recommeded" ST frames with small TTs, and long stems. And the nose of my saddle is (in most of my bikes) an inch or so ahead of the center of the BB/Crank (a no-no in more literature out there; but it works for me)
I also like riding small bikes. They provide a real "lock, load, go" feel.

Lots of good advice on this thread. I just want to add a couple of things.

1) The "fist full of seatpost" system is not a performance oriented measure. It is a C&V style thing some people like. There is nothing wrong with showing some seatpost as long as you can get the bars high enough for your comfort. BTW, 2" is a pretty shallow bar drop.

2) As said before, fit is a personal issue. I find the following to be the best and most informative fit calculator:

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

3) We don't know your physical dimensions. A 60 frame may be just right. For example, I am 5'8" with a 34" cycling inseam, short body, long arms. I regularly ride bikes with TT of 52 to 56. For each, my general cockpit measurements (seat height from BB and length from tip of saddle to bars) are the same, although there is some variation in the body angles depending on bar height. So, with my dimensions and attention to fit, I can comfortably ride more extreme configurations such as this (a little low for steep climbing, but a rocket on the flats). However, I do agree that for long rides, I am more comfortable with a slightly larger bike in my range:

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Old 12-18-09, 01:02 PM   #9
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LeMonds fit recommendations have been a good starting point for a long time but keep in mind that its race bike fit recommendation. Start there and tweak as needed to achieve a comfortable fit.
+1 to this. LeMond is writing about the best position for maximum speed and power-efficiency for the purpose of road racing, which may not be a top priority for all riders.

So in my opinion, it depends on what feels comfortable to suit your style and needs for riding.
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Old 12-18-09, 01:03 PM   #10
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I agree there's nothing wrong with tall seatposts. My personal problem for my bikes is that without enough headtube, I have trouble getting the bars up where i like them, between 0 and 4 cm below. Just a practical matter.
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Old 12-18-09, 01:06 PM   #11
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I agree there's nothing wrong with tall seatposts. My personal problem for my bikes is that without enough headtube, I have trouble getting the bars up where i like them, between 0 and 4 cm below. Just a practical matter.
Yes, that is the limiting factor (without going to some geeky overly extended stem).
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Old 12-18-09, 01:22 PM   #12
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With a 37" inseam you're probably about 6'6" ~ 6'7" and a 24" frame won't come close to being big enough. A 24" frame is essentially a 60cm frame.

I'm 6'6" and I have a 98cm cycling inseam (different than just the pants inseam you wear). I've got several 63cm Cannondales that are 63cm c-c, and are 66cm to the top of the seat collars. They are MUCH too small. I scrounged up an old 1986 ST800 touring Cannondale because they made 'em in a 27" frame (its 68.5cm c-c, and 73cm to the top of the seat collar). This fits me perfectly. I threw some Zinn 205mm custom cranks on it and for the first time in my life I have a road bike that actually "fits".

I think the 24" frame is much too small for you. Most road bikes used to come in size increments of 1cm for a reason. With the advent of compact (sloping) geometry bicycle manufacturers would have you believe that the right fit bike can be anywhere in a 3cm range. The sloping top tube and compact geometry don't change the fact that the top tube length (even virtual) and the handlebar height are the critical elements to fit, and neither of those allows much variance without completely compromising fit, creating a sore neck, back, shoulders, wrists etc. and making the bike handle skittishly. However they don't have to make, or ship as many different bikes in a given product, and bike shops don't have to stock as many and can claim that what they have "fits" so they can sell 'em...

You need to determine your Pubic bone height and cycling inseam and go from there. There is a lot of misinformation out there in terms of bike fit, and most hard core cyclists colloquial knowledge is downright laughable. There is a reason that 95% of all cyclists spend 99% of the time on the hoods, because they can't comfortably ride in the drops because their bikes don't come close to being the proper size for them. The average roadie rides a bike between 3cm and 5cm too small. As a rule if you can't comfortably get in the hoods the bike is not fit properly for a healthy cyclist with no muscular or skeletal health issues.

Check out these two sources regarding bike fit:

Rivendell on Bike fit

Peter White on Bike Fit

Both of these sources know what they are talking about when it comes to fit not so much when it comes to recommending heavy inefficient wriggly steel frames that are ridiculously overpriced for what they are...

Once you know your cycling inseam look for the biggest frame you can 'comfortably' stand over. Standover clearance is the LAST thing you care about when selecting a frame size. You're not looking for anything other than the largest frame you can stand over without discomfort.

It is very difficult to raise the handlebars on a frame that is too small. There are compromises such as Nitto Technomic stems, and stem risers, but these are solutions for frames that are typically the wrong size to begin with or that didn't have the headtube extension (relative to seattube length) necessary for the cyclists preferred riding position.

I think you'll find that a 60cm or 24" frame is going to be MUCH too small for you, and that you should be looking at the largest frames either 63cm frames, or older 25" frames.

Greg Lemond's fit guidelines start to break down for taller cyclists because the seat tube angle on bigger frames is usually not optimal. You'll probably find that you can't use the KOPS (Knee over Pedal Spindle) philosophy either for the same reasons.

You're asking the right questions, but be aware that many pro cyclists (as in Tour de France riders) are constantly experimenting with saddle height, frame size, and crank length. You're going to struggle to get properly fit on anything because most cycling components are made for the little people.

Case in point if your cycling inseam is really 37" and that isn't just your pants inseam, your proportional crank length would be anywhere between a 197.5mm (conservative) and a 202.5mm crank. Compare that to the standard 175mm that is ubiquitous and you'll see just how far of you're going to be. 180mm cranks are uncommon but available, and you can get a 185mm crank from TA Specialites, but you're in the land of needing a custom crank.

Check out Custom Cranks in Germany for something very reasonable in a square taper crank: Customcranks.de

Zinn makes square taoer and integrated custom cranks (and custom bikes for tall cyclists): Zinncycles.com

Lemond follows the Italian traditions in terms of geometry and bike fit. I would disregard looking for a classic race bike fit, and find the largest bike you can stand over comfortably and be more concerned about handlebar height. You can ride a double century and keep up with fast group rides with the bars at or above saddle height, you'll enjoy the ride much more actually having the luxury of looking around and you won't get a sore neck. You'll also have the added benefit of laughing at all the roadies perched atop their clown bikes who couldn't reach their drops if their lives depending on it. They crack me up...why they use drop bars I have no idea. If you want to approximate the same fit as they do by all means stick with a 60cm or 24" frame.
LeMond does not follow 'Italian traditions in terms of geometry and bike fit'. In said book, he says his ideas on geometry, fit and saddle height came from Cyrille Guimard. Guimard was sporting director of the Renault-Gitane team, the team LeMond rode for when he first turned pro.
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Old 12-18-09, 01:24 PM   #13
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One other factor in postion that often gets overlooked is flexibility. Given how great a factor air resistance in cycling is, lower is better, if you're flexibile enough to ride that way comfortably. Most people are not flexible enough to get low, and I'd guess cyclists might be worse because cycling doesn't involve movements that extend the range of motion. By all means, set your bike for comfort, but be aware you can do something about what's comfortable. I'm 51 and use the same low bar pursuiter position I did when I was 18, as long as I stretch a bit, especially hamstrings and back (eg. the plough in yoga). If speed or efficiency matter at all, aerodynamics is everything, much more than anything on the bike.

Bicycle Quarterly (an alternative to the consumer magazines) had a good article on wind tunnel tests. The article was in vol 6 # 1 fall 07. It reported on wind tunnel testing of bikes with riders, with fenders, bags, different positions and clothes.

Their conclusion: "We found that more than anything else, frontal area, which is determined almost entirely by rider position and clothing, affects a bicycles aerodynamics."

Tidbits:
Going from hoods to drops saves 7% drag.
Full tuck reduces drag 38% (!)
Lowering stem 2 cm saves 5%
Tight fitting jacket (vs snug jersey) adds 4% Loose jacket adds 12%
Fenders and mud flap may actually reduce drag, but results not statistically significant.
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Old 12-18-09, 02:12 PM   #14
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One other factor in postion that often gets overlooked is flexibility. Given how great a factor air resistance in cycling is, lower is better, if you're flexibile enough to ride that way comfortably. Most people are not flexible enough to get low, and I'd guess cyclists might be worse because cycling doesn't involve movements that extend the range of motion. By all means, set your bike for comfort, but be aware you can do something about what's comfortable. I'm 51 and use the same low bar pursuiter position I did when I was 18, as long as I stretch a bit, especially hamstrings and back (eg. the plough in yoga). If speed or efficiency matter at all, aerodynamics is everything, much more than anything on the bike.

Bicycle Quarterly (an alternative to the consumer magazines) had a good article on wind tunnel tests. The article was in vol 6 # 1 fall 07. It reported on wind tunnel testing of bikes with riders, with fenders, bags, different positions and clothes.

Their conclusion: "We found that more than anything else, frontal area, which is determined almost entirely by rider position and clothing, affects a bicycles aerodynamics."

Tidbits:
Going from hoods to drops saves 7% drag.
Full tuck reduces drag 38% (!)
Lowering stem 2 cm saves 5%
Tight fitting jacket (vs snug jersey) adds 4% Loose jacket adds 12%
Fenders and mud flap may actually reduce drag, but results not statistically significant.
My thoughts exactly. I try to do fairly aggressive stretching 15 minutes a night. Why not. Instead of watching TV on the couch, just move to the floor. Flexibility will, indeed, increase dramatically over a matter of weeks with regular long stretching. And, aerodynamics is very important to cycling performance.
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Old 12-18-09, 02:54 PM   #15
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Fenders and mud flap may actually reduce drag, but results not statistically significant.
I don't believe this in any way. My experience tells me that fenders and mud flaps INCREASE drag and the difference is SIGNIFICANT. It doesn't matter which direction we are talking about, either - head, tail or cross wind. I don't have quantitative data to hand you but that is due to a simple lack of instrumentation. There is zero doubt in my mind about this.

Wind tunnel testing? Did they consider what happens when the bike is ridden over real roads and the fenders/flaps start to vibrate oscillate due to road surface-induced impulses.
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Old 12-18-09, 03:06 PM   #16
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Did they consider what happens when the bike is ridden over real roads and the fenders/flaps start to vibrate oscillate due to road surface-induced impulses.
What happens?
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Old 12-18-09, 03:08 PM   #17
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Top tube length has barely been touched upon here. I am currently riding 3 road bikes. A 52, a 54, and a 56cm frame. I am comfortable on all 3. The 52 and 54 frame have the same length top tube and I have the same length stem on both of them. The 56 has a longer tt and I have a shorter stem on it. The stem on the 56 is only 60mm long. I must have longer legs than normal for my height. It seems that most large frames have short top tubes and small frames have long top tubes. Most of the middle range frames have almost square dimensions. (54/54, 58/58) My 52 has an almost 54 tt. Your body proportions can have a major bearing on what size frame you will be comfortable on. Several fellas on this forum have stated that they ride a frame that they cannot stand over because they have a long torso and like the long tt. Many of the fellas say they like to see the front axle behind the bars when riding. I like to have the axle in front of the bars. If you are looking for a very areo position a smaller than normal frame will be required but you had better be flexable or you will not be able to ride very long. TRI bikes allow for an areo position but most of them have real steep seat tube angles to help the comfort level in the areo position. A good fit for someone six six is probably hard to find and if one is six six with short legs a good fit is probably available only from a custom frame shop. I am sure there are some tall riders on here that will have a much better feel for this than I. Good Luck
My 27" Cannondale ST800 is a 27" frame (68.5cm c-c, and 73cm to the top of the seat collar) and it has a 62cm top tube...

Typically really tall people are "taller" in the legs than in the torso. Although I'm 6'7" and when I sit down I'm not as "tall" in terms of of torso height. Obviously still taller than a little person, but torso height isn't quite linear with height. So while bigger frames have top tube lengths that might fit someone smaller, a Clydesdale cyclist still needs mongo wide bars (WTB mountain dirt drop bars which are 60cm wide not 46cm) and will struggle with their bigger hands on most drop bars without a double or even triple roll of bar tape (or old tubes under the tape).

Essentially it sucks to be a big cyclist because nothing fits, and everything feels wriggly and flexy as its designed for 150lb spanish climbers. Then again, we were able to dunk, and that was was pretty cool...
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Old 12-18-09, 03:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
I also like riding small bikes. They provide a real "lock, load, go" feel.

Lots of good advice on this thread. I just want to add a couple of things.

1) The "fist full of seatpost" system is not a performance oriented measure. It is a C&V style thing some people like. There is nothing wrong with showing some seatpost as long as you can get the bars high enough for your comfort. BTW, 2" is a pretty shallow bar drop.

2) As said before, fit is a personal issue. I find the following to be the best and most informative fit calculator:

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

3) We don't know your physical dimensions. A 60 frame may be just right. For example, I am 5'8" with a 34" cycling inseam, short body, long arms. I regularly ride bikes with TT of 52 to 56. For each, my general cockpit measurements (seat height from BB and length from tip of saddle to bars) are the same, although there is some variation in the body angles depending on bar height. So, with my dimensions and attention to fit, I can comfortably ride more extreme configurations such as this (a little low for steep climbing, but a rocket on the flats). However, I do agree that for long rides, I am more comfortable with a slightly larger bike in my range:

Just looking at the drop from saddle to bars makes my neck and wrists hurt!
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Old 12-18-09, 03:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Yes, that is the limiting factor (without going to some geeky overly extended stem).
On my 63cm Cannondales I have to use some Salsa stems that are nearly vertical in rise to bring the bars up. I've got two of 'em (one on the tandem and one one the 3.0 frame). I've never seen 'em elsewhere but they are much much more stable (rock solid) as compared to a Nitto Technomics. However, the "look" is frankenbike. No bike should look like that. Even though they look completely 'geeky' the bars are still below the saddle height, but its just so...wrong.

In comparison I just love to look at the 27" C'dale now (68.5cm). It justs looks like a real bike, albeit with little clown wheels.
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Old 12-18-09, 03:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mr. peugeot View Post
LeMond does not follow 'Italian traditions in terms of geometry and bike fit'. In said book, he says his ideas on geometry, fit and saddle height came from Cyrille Guimard. Guimard was sporting director of the Renault-Gitane team, the team LeMond rode for when he first turned pro.
The angles on Lemond bikes are typical of italian steel bikes, as are the longer top tube lengths. Are you sure there isn't some miscommunication here regarding Lemond's perspective on rider fit with Lemond's perspective on frame design?
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Old 12-18-09, 03:31 PM   #21
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I don't believe this in any way. My experience tells me that fenders and mud flaps INCREASE drag and the difference is SIGNIFICANT. It doesn't matter which direction we are talking about, either - head, tail or cross wind. I don't have quantitative data to hand you but that is due to a simple lack of instrumentation. There is zero doubt in my mind about this.

Wind tunnel testing? Did they consider what happens when the bike is ridden over real roads and the fenders/flaps start to vibrate oscillate due to road surface-induced impulses.
Don't have the article handy, but I seem to recall there was some speculation that it had to do with airflow near the tires, laminar-something or other. Anyway, not my opinion, it was what they found in the wind tunnel. But everything else they mention jives with my experience, eg lower position, tucking, clothing etc. so I tend to believe what they say. I also don't find much diffference, if any, (except maybe some techno-insecurity) if I ride my fender winter bike when everyone has their summer bike out. It's not like I can't pull at the front anymore or anything.

On the other note, the oscilation you speak of sounds like the shape of flap; some of the flaps on our regular winter rides do this and they tend to be the home-made, wide-ish, more rigid ones. Mine are stock planet bike rubber narrow ones and they never oscillate. The two stay front fenders also wobble less than the one stay ones.

Last edited by Lister Farrar; 12-18-09 at 08:42 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-18-09, 03:54 PM   #22
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That is a pretty bike but I have a hard time believing that your set-up wouldn't be better handled on a larger frame or maybe a custom built one.

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Old 12-18-09, 04:21 PM   #23
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The fistful of seatpost is a ballpark rule, and not, in my opinion, a very useful one. It's what you'll probably wind up with if you are of average proportions, and get an average frame of the right size. While people always list bike sizes by seatpost height, they don't measure it consistently, nor is it terribly informative.

If you or the frame are significantly non-average, the amount of seat post sticking up is a particularly horrible rule of thumb; seat height is the most easily adjustable of any dimension you care about . If you want one thing to check about a potential bike purchase, I'd recommend top-tube length. If you have a bike that works well for you, and get another with the same length top tube, you can jockey around seatpost extensions, stem lengths/ heights and saddle position to get something pretty good. If you want real precision, you need more than one number; and you need to know what you want the bike to be for; and you need to know which experts strongly held, wildly divergent ideas you believe

Based entirely on the picture of you bike setup, which isn't engouh to go on, I'd speculate you want a longer frame. Which would be listed as a larger size if the same model, who knows otherwise.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:33 PM   #24
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Wow. Lots of good info to chew on here. I realize I didn't give a whole lot of info about myself. I'm starting to wonder if I'm not a little anomylous. I'm 6'2" ith a 37" inseam. My lower back has always been a little weak so I've put Northroads bars on my previous bikes. My fave has been a 58cm Supercourse with a 56 cm top tube, too small but an upgrade from my old 3 speed. I lived way out in Maine and the scenery was pretty nice so I was in no hurry and liked to rubberneck.

Lately I've picked up a really pretty Trek 612 with a 60.5cm seattube and a 57" top tube. I'm a little more fit now and the bike just looks sooo good just the way it is that I thought I'd give drops an open minded shot before I threw the old Northroads on. That and I live in this armpit town between NY and NJ. Not much to see. It feels pretty good but my hands get sore. I'm thinking the brake levers are in the wrong place and the stem is making me reach too far, thus putting too much weight on the hands while they're in an awkward position on the hoods.
Fortunately, I just picked up an ugly Trek of the same vintage with a short reach stem, 3" instead of 4" and I can monkey with the brake position without wrecking the pretty tape.
I'm probably more of a Sloane style rider than a LeMond style rider so maybe I should look for a taller stem as I can't get the bars any higher than about 2" below seat height. It's 24 degrees out right now. I'm not sure I'm going to go out tonight. A real good night to sit here and think about biking.

This isn't my bike but it seems to fit the comversation:

Thanks for all the advice. Both these authors seem to be pretty smart but it's important to know what their motives are.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
I don't believe this in any way. My experience tells me that fenders and mud flaps INCREASE drag and the difference is SIGNIFICANT. It doesn't matter which direction we are talking about, either - head, tail or cross wind. I don't have quantitative data to hand you but that is due to a simple lack of instrumentation. There is zero doubt in my mind about this.

Wind tunnel testing? Did they consider what happens when the bike is ridden over real roads and the fenders/flaps start to vibrate oscillate due to road surface-induced impulses.
Good discussion-

This thread will make you laugh out loud-

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in...p/t-80958.html

Fenders have always been "out" of fashion in the USA, and very popular in the UK. In the UK, the fashion is to look like a competent cyclist. In the USA, the fashion is to pretend to be Lance Armstrong (and Lance don't use no stinkin' fenders. Most guys in my neighborhood will not ride to Starbucks unless they have on the full "Be like Lance" outfit from head to toe. And, I don't see those guys much on rainy days. Might get their yellow jerseys muddy.

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