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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 09-08-17, 02:45 PM   #1
Beachcycle
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Geometry: Why is one bike pleasant, and the other a pain?

I have two bikes, a Mercier Galaxy AL and a CAAD10, both in 58. A geometry chart for both is shown below, as well as a couple bikes I was looking at buying.

I haven't ridden the Mercier in a while, but I always remember it being comfortable to sit on, while the CAAD10 has always been varying levels of pain. On the CAAD, I felt like my legs were bunched up too close to my to knees and hips while pedaling, even after setting the saddle back to the max. I also went through a series of shorter stem, from 120mm to 90, on the CAAD. Initially my arms were locked out, now there's a little bend but I'm still putting too much weight on my wrists. And of late, I've been getting perineal pain and/or chafing of my inner thighs against the side of the saddle. Swapping out the saddle fixed the perineal pain, I think, but I'm still getting chafing.

I'm 6'1, with long legs and long-ish arms (size 35 in dress shirts, 34 pants inseam)

What I want to know:
1. Is the CAAD salvageable? If so how? Would a stem that angles up a bit suffice?
2. If not, what should I look for in a new bike? 200+mm head tube? Smaller HT angle? Longer wheelbase? What part of the geometry is responsible for the different results?
3. Also, are there any endurance-like road bikes with rack mounts and clearance for 32mm tires with fenders? I won't do any offroading. Would like a do-it all bike - the total dream would be something light, with fender + rack mounts, tubeless rims, hydraulic disc brake and a 1x road groupset (Apex, Force or Metrea).
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Old 09-08-17, 05:45 PM   #2
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Sounds like a seat preference, seat height, seat tilt issue, or a combination of. Questions: Do you use a torpedo level, and are you trying different tilts? I recommend putting the level on the seat and using allen keys, and see if a certain amount is preferred. When you say legs bunched up too close to your knees, hips, it sounds like a seat height issue. You say arms locked out, you lost me. too much wrist pressure, sounds like an excessive downward tilted seat. Seat chafing sounds like too wide of a seat. A bike with disc brakes would likely give you the room for larger tires. I doubt that you would get sufficient gear range out of a 1x system. I do not think the problem is with the Cannondale per say, that some adjustments can not solve.
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Old 09-08-17, 06:50 PM   #3
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How many spacers under the stem on the CAAD? Because that headtube is two full inches shorter, so you're leaning over a good bit more, which could also explain the perineum discomfort. More than likely nothing to do with the bike itself, and everything to do with the fit.
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Old 09-09-17, 01:33 AM   #4
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Thank you for your replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
Sounds like a seat preference, seat height, seat tilt issue, or a combination of. Questions: Do you use a torpedo level, and are you trying different tilts? I recommend putting the level on the seat and using allen keys, and see if a certain amount is preferred. When you say legs bunched up too close to your knees, hips, it sounds like a seat height issue. You say arms locked out, you lost me. too much wrist pressure, sounds like an excessive downward tilted seat. Seat chafing sounds like too wide of a seat. A bike with disc brakes would likely give you the room for larger tires. I doubt that you would get sufficient gear range out of a 1x system. I do not think the problem is with the Cannondale per say, that some adjustments can not solve.
Think of a clown riding on a tiny bike, that's a bit what I mean by the legs bunching up - the saddle isn't far behind the pedals enough.

The arms are no longer locked out with a shorter stem, but I think the handlebars are simply still too low, so I end up putting weight on my wrists.

>Torpedo level
No. I actually have one in my house, but it's super long (3 or 4'), and don't know how to position it accurately. I think I've got the seat level now, though having it point up definitely exacerbates the perineal pain.

I took the bike to a shop for a quick fit, but honestly the guy didn't seem to know anything, though he did helpfully rotate the handlebars a bit.

Maybe all I need is a stem that points up more.

The 1x is more of a pipe dream at this point, but I only use one of the front cogs on my 2x11 as it is.

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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
How many spacers under the stem on the CAAD? Because that headtube is two full inches shorter, so you're leaning over a good bit more, which could also explain the perineum discomfort. More than likely nothing to do with the bike itself, and everything to do with the fit.
I've got the maximum amount of spacers, 1 1/8". I don't think the bike is flawed of course, just not sure if I can get it to fit me personally.
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Old 09-09-17, 01:58 PM   #5
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This should be good for 10 pages..
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Old 09-10-17, 12:00 PM   #6
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Road Positioning Chart | Park Tool
You can download and print this road positioning chart from Park Tools. Carefully measure the comfortable bike and duplicate those same measurements on the other. I do this about once a year on my bike and it changes year to year.
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Old 09-10-17, 12:06 PM   #7
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Bikes are like women. Sometimes it just works out that way.

Seriously, it could certainly a minor difference in fit, with the one you're more used to feeling right, and the other not.
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Old 09-12-17, 07:53 PM   #8
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What I want to know:
1. Is the CAAD salvageable? If so how? Would a stem that angles up a bit suffice? You should try a longer stem and stretch yourself out. As you probably know, the Caad 10 is a racing frame and is built to lean your pelvis forward while your other bike looks like an endurance frame.
2. If not, what should I look for in a new bike? 200+mm head tube? Smaller HT angle? Longer wheelbase? What part of the geometry is responsible for the different results? There is a huge difference in headtube.
3. Also, are there any endurance-like road bikes with rack mounts and clearance for 32mm tires with fenders? I won't do any offroading. Would like a do-it all bike - the total dream. I can't help you on that.

I would pay for a professional fit for the Caad 10. My guess is this is a flexibility problem and a racing frame may not fit your current fitness and flexibility.
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Old 09-17-17, 11:43 PM   #9
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Why pay $100-200 for a pro fit if the frame itself probably doesn't fit?

I got a Giant Defy , found a deal on Craigslist, 45% off for a hardly used one. It has the tallest headtube of any road endurance bike I could find, 210mm in large. Feels great, although a bit lethargic and heavier than the caad10, probably because of inferior wheels, groupset. The defy has a smooth, stable ride, but isn't quite as peppy and fun as the CAAD. Tempted to keep the CAAD, at least if it's not selling.
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Old 09-19-17, 06:42 AM   #10
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I'm discovering the same thing as you, about head tube length.


I'm looking for an endurance road bike to complement/replace the old hybrid I'm now riding.
The hybrid is 'very upright', like the bars are even with the saddle.
I'm very comfortable, and used to that upright position.


Not so with the endurance road bikes I've been trying (Domane, Synapse).
The greater 'Saddle to bar drop' is definitely something I will need to get used to (or get an aftermarket taller stem for the new endurance bike).

Thanks for the info on the Giant defy and it's tall head tube, I will check those out.
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