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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 07-16-17, 02:50 PM   #1
dynawolf
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Size too big?

I am 6'1" and have 34" inseam. I have always ridden a 58.

I purchased a new Spec Roubaix and have it professionally fitted. I am having lower back issues and the fitter has moved my saddle as far forward as possible and given my a very short stem. He now has indicated I may have to change seat posts b/c the CGR is "set back". Should I be on a 56?

Very frustrated. The bike wasn't cheap.
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Old 07-16-17, 03:09 PM   #2
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I cant comment on the fit, partly because I haven't seen you on the bike, and partly because I don't like contradicting someone who had hands on.

However, I'm very surprised (slightly short of shocked) that he's compressing the saddle to bar distance for someone of your height on a frame that size.

BITD when everyone was riding on horizontal top tube frames and 250mm was the standard post length, there was a narrow window separating top tube standover clearance, and maximum saddle height. Having the top of the saddle 5-6" above the tube was SOP.

These days, sloping top tubes and long posts allow much greater latitude in frame sizing, and factors like head height and saddle to stem distance dominate the final decision. That said, I'm very surprised that you're thinking shorter, since that will probably drop the head (and bar) height, and I'd expect someone with back issues looking to go up vs. down.

Sometimes a simple eyeball of the big picture tells the story, so before doing anything else, ride the bike past some store windows and look at yourself broadside. If you've been riding a while, you should have some sense of what looks right and what doesn't, and can compare. A knowledgeable friend might also give you an2nd opinion, but FWIW I don't believe than 2cm either way is going to be critical.

FWIW - lower back pain is often a result of a saddle set high, and reaching for the pedals. That can cause hips to rock overworking the lower spine. Knowing absolutely nothing else, and hearing the problem, my first instinct would be to drop the saddle slightly, and verify that you're sitting far enough back on it so as to get firm lateral support of the hip bones.
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Old 07-16-17, 04:12 PM   #3
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I agree with FB - my question is "why", because more than likely the fitter had a logical reason to do that. Were you uncomfortable leaning too far forward? Something with your hands? You needed to be more upright in posture? That sort of thing could have to do with your current state of conditioning and flexibility, which you would expect to change as you have more miles on the bike. In that case it makes sense to make temporary adjustments on the saddle and stem, because you'd want to reverse them later on. Changing frame sizes is a little more drastic than changing a stem and saddle position.

Regarding your specific question, most cyclists your size prefer a 58 or larger, and a 56 would be too small or for use with an aggressive racing position, which I suspect isn't your objective.
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Old 07-16-17, 05:19 PM   #4
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Not enough info to answer. Is the saddle to bar drop the same?
What were measurements on previous 58 roadie? top tube length, stem?
Have you been riding your 58 a lot lately?
Did you take last bike in to the shop, so the fitter could see your position and flexibility and spinning style?

Seems an experienced rider should not be sold an ill-fitting frame size by a shop. Lose-Lose situation, ask 'em to make it right.

I'm a bit over 6'1", and prefer a 59 or 60, usually with a 12cm stem. When I really want a frame to 'stretch out on', 62cm can be fun;...love to ride th drops on a frame with a tall head tube. In the old school style of fitting, a 58cm frame sounds about right for you- but that's nothing more than a guess.

edit: Is that 34" inseam a pant length? Or Cycling inseam (pubic bone height)?

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-16-17 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:14 AM   #5
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A pro fitter would have you understand the reasons they are adjusting the bike the way they do during the fit process.
Didn't yours?
In that case, go ask the original fitter all the "whys" mentioned in this thread, and make sure you understand the answers.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:38 AM   #6
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size too small?
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Old 07-17-17, 10:52 AM   #7
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Thx for the thoughts. Why would a fitter want to bring the saddle forward? I thought the knee over the pedal spindle was no longer a thing. My complaint is lower back pain and I "creep" forward when I pedal. The fitter has the seat moved al the way forward and the nose tilted down a touch. Why?
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Old 07-17-17, 11:19 AM   #8
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have you tried anything on your side of things? meaning, riding w a different posture, such as attempting to arch your back, in an attempt to straighten it. fwiw, I do this myself & it helps quite a bit. I'm 5' 11 3/4" w a 32" inseam & ride a 58
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Old 07-17-17, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynawolf View Post
Thx for the thoughts. Why would a fitter want to bring the saddle forward? I thought the knee over the pedal spindle was no longer a thing. My complaint is lower back pain and I "creep" forward when I pedal. The fitter has the seat moved al the way forward and the nose tilted down a touch. Why?
I can't magically know what was in the fitter's mind and won't try to guess.

However, if you complained that your were creeping forward, he might have tried to shorten the bar/saddle length in response.

IMO - that's not the right approach unless the distance actually was too long to begin with (something I can't know). IME saddle "creep" is usually caused by gravity if/when the saddle it tilted down, but more often by the rider himself unconsciously pulling himself forward when working hard. The cure lies in the mind and not on the bike, and I suggest you consciously not pull on the bars when climbing and even train your self to push back on the saddle when pedaling hard. It will need conscious effort for a while, but once cured of the habit, you'll be cured for life.

Truth in posting --- I know that fitters can do a great job optimizing performance for serious riders, and can sometimes spot and fix a specific problem. However, I don't believe that are useful for most riders, and can distract from a better solution. Many problems aren't from fit, but from bad habits or poor technique, and minor fit adjustments won't change that.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:35 PM   #10
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FWIW, I west by my LBS to ask why my fitter wanted me forward. He said the knee was 1.5 cm behind the pedal axle.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynawolf View Post
The fitter has the seat moved all the way forward and the nose tilted down a touch. Why?
"nose tilted down a touch" is probably because cg-r post rotates backwards as it's going through it's travel. So if you set it up a touch down when static (off the bike), it'll be horizontal (more or less) when ridden.
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Old 07-22-17, 09:28 AM   #12
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Im a bit surprised by the OP's experience. I'm barely 5'11" (on a good day) with a 33" inseam, and ride a 58cm Domane. I anguished between the 58 and 56, ended up going with a 58, and 10,000 miles later have never looked back. The bike is comfortable and I've been professionally fit - no issues.

Now time for a new toy, I rode the Roubaix Expert, also a 58. This bike is tall, sitting almost a full inch higher than the Domane! (it's also got a shorter wheelbase and is a bit twitchier). But the rest of the dimensions are very close. After a 100 plus mile test ride, the bike felt just a tad larger, but still not out of my league fit-wise. I can make it work with a 90mm stem, and perhaps a minor tweak of the seat position. By comparison, I rode the 56 also, and just found it too constraining. Maybe I just like larger frames and a taller head tube, but when I ride the smaller frames the 'endurance' feel is clearly diminished.

I have a 2018 58 Roubaix Pro on order, and I'll report back once I get it!
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Old 07-27-17, 06:37 PM   #13
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FWIW, I west by my LBS to ask why my fitter wanted me forward. He said the knee was 1.5 cm behind the pedal axle.
That is not a good reason. How do you want to ride? Are you looking for long range comfort, or do you want to hammer as hard as you can? Set the saddle fore / aft position to a point where your feel balanced on the bike. Forget about knee over the pedal. You should be able to lift your hands off of the bars without falling on your face.

After the get the fore aft set, then you can work on the reach to the bars with stems and bars.
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Old 08-01-17, 07:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dynawolf View Post
Thx for the thoughts. Why would a fitter want to bring the saddle forward? I thought the knee over the pedal spindle was no longer a thing. My complaint is lower back pain and I "creep" forward when I pedal. The fitter has the seat moved al the way forward and the nose tilted down a touch. Why?
When had a problem of creeping forward on the saddle (making it uncomfortable), I put the saddle *back* and tilted it *up* to stop me sliding forward. Sometime, counterintuitively, moving the saddle back stops you slipping forward. I think it may be due to this causing a larger force vector on the pedal that tends to push you back slightly, thus keeping your position to the rear (if you consider a recumbent bike, every push against the pedal will push you back into the seat - same principal)
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Old 08-01-17, 07:09 PM   #15
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FWIW, I west by my LBS to ask why my fitter wanted me forward. He said the knee was 1.5 cm behind the pedal axle.
Mine is 3-4 cm behind the pedal axle and I fixed a lot of my fit and comfort problems by moving my saddle back.

I would be wary of a fitter who is trying to fit you "by convention" (i.e. KOPS) rather than what actually suits your body. I personally now just ignore KOPS, and set my saddle position and stem length according to balance and feel. Look up "saddle balance test" to see how this alternative saddle position test works. Basically, the idea is to get into a position where you can take your hands off the bars and keep pedalling without tipping or sliding forward. For most people, this gets easier the further back your saddle is (because more of your weight is to the rear). Once I'm comfortable, I set the stem length and height to get comfortable angles between torso and arms, and allow bent elbows.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:23 AM   #16
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After working many decades, lifting things, all our backs have suffered traumas, that leave us in pain , which we feel when we are doing our leisure activities.


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Old 08-11-17, 08:57 PM   #17
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Thigh length must be really short. Zero off-set post certainly will move the seat forward. Have the fitter use "test post" and take it for a two day trial run. If it works, make the move. Additionally, pay attention to your cadence and bring it up a notch just to be sure added strain is not happening by pushing too large of a gear.
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Old 08-12-17, 02:19 PM   #18
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FWIW, I west by my LBS to ask why my fitter wanted me forward. He said the knee was 1.5 cm behind the pedal axle.
This article by Keith Bontrager might interest you: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
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Old 08-13-17, 10:09 AM   #19
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Mine is 3-4 cm behind the pedal axle and I fixed a lot of my fit and comfort problems by moving my saddle back.
.
I stopped listening to my fitter who had my saddle forward and slightly pointed down.

I moved the saddle back 20mm and tilted it slightly up. Just before it bothered my soft bits. The back spasms didn't hit until 2-1/2 hours into the ride. Normally they start 25 min. Thanks for thoughts.
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