Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Just got new BD bike, fit is a little off

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Just got new BD bike, fit is a little off

Old 10-18-10, 07:38 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 41

Bikes: Mercier Kilo WT (Emerald Green)

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Just got new BD bike, fit is a little off

Over the weekend I received and set-up my new bike from BikesDirect, a 62cm Mercier Kilo WT. I am 6'5" so I usually go for the largest size - which is what I did in this case. I really like the bicycle and for the most part, it fits me well.

The standover height is about right (1-1.5" clearance) but the riding position is a little more aggressive than I'd like for my daily commuter. I've already adjusted the saddle as far forward as it will go and I can't think of any other adjustments I can make to shorten my reach to the handlebars.

I'm thinking that a shorter stem may be the solution to my problem but I'm not entirely sure. What do you guys/gals think? And if a shorter stem is the solution, what are some guidelines for picking a new one?
btb103 is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 07:52 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,977
Liked 191 Times in 130 Posts
Start with the company that sold you the bike and ask them for help with your problem. If they can't help, then bring the bike in to your LBS for a proper fitting.
alan s is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 07:52 AM
  #3  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,597

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Liked 4,434 Times in 2,476 Posts
Originally Posted by btb103
Over the weekend I received and set-up my new bike from BikesDirect, a 62cm Mercier Kilo WT. I am 6'5" so I usually go for the largest size - which is what I did in this case. I really like the bicycle and for the most part, it fits me well.

The standover height is about right (1-1.5" clearance) but the riding position is a little more aggressive than I'd like for my daily commuter. I've already adjusted the saddle as far forward as it will go and I can't think of any other adjustments I can make to shorten my reach to the handlebars.

I'm thinking that a shorter stem may be the solution to my problem but I'm not entirely sure. What do you guys/gals think? And if a shorter stem is the solution, what are some guidelines for picking a new one?
A shorter stem would be a better choice than pushing the saddle all the way forward. Pushing the saddle forward messes with your power dynamics and can lead to knee/leg problems. With threadless headsets, changing a stem is very easy. If you have an old bike, take some measurements of the dimensions in question to calculate what stem length you'll need.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 08:00 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,296
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
What's the drop in height from saddle to bars? What is it on a bike that you find most comfortable?

Rather than just a shorter stem, it may be that you prefer a more upright riding position. In that case, you may want to replace the stem with one that rises at a 17 or 30 degree angle. If your current stem is 6 or 7 degrees (pretty standard) and is 120mm long, then it raises the bars about a half an inch. On the other hand, a 17 degree 120mm stem raises the bars 1.4 inches and a 30-degree 120mm stem raises it 2.4 inches. Having the bars an extra 1 or 2 inches higher may do the trick. Stems are a cheap way to really change how the bike fits.
jeffpoulin is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 08:04 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,206
Likes: 0
Liked 82 Times in 65 Posts
you need to get a new stem that puts the bars where you want them. Where do you want the bars?
LeeG is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 08:20 AM
  #6  
Faster but still slow
 
slowandsteady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 5,978

Bikes: Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Do not ever move the saddle to compensate for reach issues. Just get a shorter stem.
slowandsteady is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 08:43 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 392

Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by slowandsteady
Do not ever move the saddle to compensate for reach issues. Just get a shorter stem.
Where should the seat be relative to the pedals?
itsthewoo is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 08:54 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,558
Liked 134 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by itsthewoo
Where should the seat be relative to the pedals?
Positioned so that when you're on the bike with the pedals horizontal to the ground, a plumb bob dropped from the bony protruberance in front of your knee passes through the pedal spindle.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 09:39 AM
  #9  
Hey let's ride.
 
pathdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,002

Bikes: Torelli road bike, Tsunami tandem

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by mconlonx
Positioned so that when you're on the bike with the pedals horizontal to the ground, a plumb bob dropped from the bony protruberance in front of your knee passes through the pedal spindle.
I would like to see this in the form of a diagram or pic to make sure I understand exactly what you are saying.
pathdoc is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 09:51 AM
  #10  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,361 Times in 867 Posts
BD bypasses dealers, they would be helping with bike fit at time of sales..
but you probably knew that..
so you need to buy a different stem, if the steerer is pre cut, short, maybe a stem riser
to make the steerer effectively taller.
Tall frame probably means as made a stock 300mm steerer is mostly in the frame's head tube.

there are up-angled stems and adjustable angle stems of various dimensions.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 09:55 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Turn the stem around and point it towards the seat.
taos07 is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 09:57 AM
  #12  
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: The hot spot.
Posts: 45,609

Bikes: everywhere

Liked 8,197 Times in 4,366 Posts
Knee over pedal spindle is a good starting point for most folks. Measuring points are the pedal spindle and the top of your shin bone : feel your knee cap, then go down a bit past the soft spot under the knee cap. The bony bit under the soft spot is where you drop the plumb bob from. A plumb bob is just a string with a weight tied to it. (use your keys, maybe).

Knee Over Pedal Spindle from Sheldon Brown's pages:


More rise in the stem is also likely to help ameliorate a "too aggressive" feeling and you could also consider drop bars with less reach or bull horns. Mustache and North Road bars offer a closer position. If it's WAY too low and stretched out feeling for you Flat Bars or Riser bars might be in order, but they'd require new brake levers.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-18-10 at 10:09 AM.
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 10-18-10, 10:14 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 23,208
Liked 10,647 Times in 6,055 Posts
A lot of what I would have said, has already been covered. Especially the saddle-for-reach part.

You can try rotating the handlebars back a little bit, which will shorten the reach, and also change the angle of your wrists. For some people, it's more natural this way. Another alternative is to unwrap them, and move the brifters up/back a little bit, which accomplishes basically the same thing, but with less effect on the drops, if you ride much in them.

There are stems with adjustable angles. I'm not sure if yours are at the right height, but if not, these let you trade reach for drop, and might be a good idea. Otherwise, just a shorter stem is likely to work. Fortunately, stems are cheap.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 01:38 PM
  #14  
bored of "Senior Member"
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MD / metro DC
Posts: 2,954

Bikes: Cross-Check/Nexus commuter. Several others for various forms of play.

Liked 628 Times in 479 Posts
I like Bikes Direct and you can buy a stem or three with the money you've saved. You're getting good advice so far here in this thread, let me pull some of it together and make sure you're not overlooking some of the things in play:

-- Set your seat for your lower body, not your upper body. That's the starting point, not a variable.

-- To move the bars around, you can adjust:
1) height of stem (via spacers above / below the stem)
2) angle of stem (via new stem, or there are some adjustable ones)
3) length of stem (via new stem, no adjustable ones I know of)
4) type of bars

All four work together and are confounded. Not clear which you need. 1 is easy and cheap but limited. 2 & 3 aren't hard but you're buying a new stem. 4 is more involved for hardware and swap out effort. It's a matter of experimentation, even for folks that know what they're doing. I suggest you read up on bike fit and get a knowledgeable friend to help you guess or pay for a little service at a local shop that will try a couple of different ones for you and not make you buy each guess. Or measure an old bike that you're comfortable with.

Wild guess (I'm 6'5", too) your bars are too low, even with putting all the spacers below the stem the steerer tube won't run up high enough and you will need a stem that angles up. That reduces effective length from the geometry of it. Likely as much of a height as a length problem.
slcbob is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 01:55 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
You may have to move the saddle forward to compensate for a long top tube.

That and the stem are the things one can adjust to get the right fit on the bike.
NormanF is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 02:00 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
If its still not high enough, replace the fork with one with an uncut steerer and figure out where the stem should go relative to where you sit. Then it can be marked to be cut at at the right height for final stem installation.
NormanF is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 02:06 PM
  #17  
Faster but still slow
 
slowandsteady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 5,978

Bikes: Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Good info on basic bike fitting.

https://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html

slowandsteady is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 02:31 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 392

Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by slowandsteady
Good info on basic bike fitting.

https://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html

[MG]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_8DoooXOKBCQ/TBV7Wf8P6hI/AAAAAAAAPIk/AJWfSGZUSSw/s1600/Seat-Position.jpg[/IMG]
How do I do the fitting if I don't have that kind of helmet?
itsthewoo is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 02:55 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,206
Likes: 0
Liked 82 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by itsthewoo
How do I do the fitting if I don't have that kind of helmet?
all you need are the yellow lines, bike shop has them in the back.
LeeG is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 06:06 PM
  #20  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 41

Bikes: Mercier Kilo WT (Emerald Green)

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanks everyone for all your help thus far, I really appreciate the friendly attitude towards a noobie.

I am a little curious about what the rise on the stock stem is... BD's web page for the bike seems to have two specifications listed in different places. Above the "Geometry / Measurements" table is another table that lists stem reach/rise and for the 62 it says 110mm/17deg but in the full specifications table closer to the bottom it lists the stem as 8 deg rise. Judging from this picture of my bike alone, can you tell what it is? To me, it definitely looks like 8 degrees.



That aside, I'm scanning eBay for stems right now and trying to decide what length/rise will be best. This one, a 90mm/17deg, looks decent and I think would be a substantial difference over my current set-up. Would this be a good option or should I go to my LBS and see if they can fit some different stems for me to try?

PS: On an unrelated note, is it dorky or otherwise inadvisable to use the lock mounting bracket on a bike? They've always not really worked for me in the past so I don't usually bother but I thought I'd give it a shot

Last edited by btb103; 10-18-10 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Added PS
btb103 is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 06:13 PM
  #21  
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 6,747
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looks like a -17 degree rise.

You could try to look for used stems at bike co-ops first.
Squirrelli is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 06:36 PM
  #22  
Allez means go.
 
bengreen79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Two Rivers, WI
Posts: 892
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I would go to a bike shop for the stem. They'll have a number of different sizes and angles to try and it will end up like a free fitting.
bengreen79 is offline  
Old 10-18-10, 11:52 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,296
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
That aside, I'm scanning eBay for stems right now and trying to decide what length/rise will be best. This one, a 90mm/17deg, looks decent and I think would be a substantial difference over my current set-up. Would this be a good option or should I go to my LBS and see if they can fit some different stems for me to try?
I think the e-bay one would be alright provided you have 26mm bars (hard to tell from the photo, but they do look like they're 26mm rather than the more common 31.8mm bars one finds on most road bikes today).

Another alternative is to try to borrow an adjustable stem, go for a few rides, and tune it to what feels right. Then buy a non-adjustable stem that matches the dimensions as closely as possible.
jeffpoulin is offline  
Old 10-19-10, 03:51 AM
  #24  
bored of "Senior Member"
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MD / metro DC
Posts: 2,954

Bikes: Cross-Check/Nexus commuter. Several others for various forms of play.

Liked 628 Times in 479 Posts
I see what you mean in their spec. Odd. BD is usually darn accurate.

Eyeballing, that looks like it could be -8. (-17 would be -1 from dead level with the 74 HT angle, you're a bit sloped up) Note that you can flip it over to make it +8.

Disregard my earlier guess -- you're all the way up on the steerer, so all you have to play with is angles and length. And there's not a lot of drop below the seat.

Originally Posted by NormanF
You may have to move the saddle forward to compensate for a long top tube.
No no no! That's bad ju ju. I would return (or sell) the bike before I did that. If you can't tweak it with the stem, you have the wrong frame size or style. At a 608 TT for a 62cm frame, this one does NOT have a particularly long TT so there's a lot of hope here.

Originally Posted by NormanF
If its still not high enough, replace the fork with one with an uncut steerer and figure out where the stem should go relative to where you sit. Then it can be marked to be cut at at the right height for final stem installation.
Certainly an option, but I would go to my LBS before I'd go acquire an uncut fork if I didn't have one laying around the garage. Also, it looks from the pic as if that may already be an uncut steerer.

My new completely unrealiable and unscientific wild guess:

If you feel too bent over, then try flipping the stem over (to +8) before you proceed to higher angles. And/or do some yoga.

If you feel stretched out, get a 90mm length stem.

Both? That's where it gets fuzzy. A higher angle will "effectively" shorten the length. Lots of combos.

Don't forget clamp size matters, as a prior poster mentioned. Yours seems to be 26.0.
slcbob is offline  
Old 10-19-10, 04:51 AM
  #25  
The Professor
 
akohekohe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Center Sandwich, New Hampshire
Posts: 899

Bikes: Alex Moulton Double Pylon, Surly Big Dummy, Alex Moulton GT, AZUB TiFly

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Well, you actually should start by adjusting the seat via the instructions given in the previous posts. Not everyone has the same proportions between legs, arms, and torso so you may actually need to move the seat closer to the bars or even use a straight seat post instead of the offset one you have (or you might have to move it further back). Get the knee to spindle thing settled first before you start messing with the stems and bars. If you are lucky, once the knee spindle thing is worked out you won't need a new stem.
akohekohe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.