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Does my fit look reasonable?

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.

Does my fit look reasonable?

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Old 06-30-18, 04:45 PM
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MeanSekine
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Does my fit look reasonable?

Hello all!


I'm getting some neck and shoulder pain when trying to do longer rides, and I'm wondering if perhaps my handlebars are too low and/or I'm too stretched out. I wear glasses when I ride so I think I'm also tilting my head further up than normal in order to see through my glasses.

I'm also having some right knee pain. I'm not sure if it's related to saddle height or cleat position, but I've measured my inseam to be 91cm and have set my saddle height at 81cm for the video. Does it look too high? It looks like I may be pointing my toe down too much and my hips might be rocking a little bit. I'm also 6'2 on a 58cm frame and I'm wondering if perhaps it's a bit too small. Maybe I should be riding something closer to 61cm with a shorter stem? The current stem is 120mm.

What do you think?
Thanks very much for any feedback!
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Old 07-03-18, 11:37 AM
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Not enough reach is cramping your back plus bike is really too small by a good bit. On this bike, move your saddle back as far as it goes, roll your hips forward on the saddle and straighten your back until it's a straight line from your shorts waistband to the back of your neck. Then add stem length until your upper arms are at a 90° angle to your straightened back.

Of course you have neck and shoulder pain with that fit and position. Look at the angle of your upper back, just below your neck. It's horizontal, like you were in a full aero tuck with a flat, horizontal back. Except you're not.

Ideally, with hands on the hoods and forearms horizontal, your elbows should be in front of your knees.

All the above said, we do see a lot of pros with bikes as small as yours. They do that to get a lighter, stiffer bike and they get paid to win or place, so they put up with the little things like pain and discomfort that come with the small bike. Choices.
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Old 07-03-18, 12:05 PM
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I would like to note in passing that the number of riders who post here with fit problems because their bikes are too large is, IIRC, exactly zero. Weird, really. One would think that statistically it would be even numbers each way. But no.
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Old 07-03-18, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Not enough reach is cramping your back plus bike is really too small by a good bit. On this bike, move your saddle back as far as it goes, roll your hips forward on the saddle and straighten your back until it's a straight line from your shorts waistband to the back of your neck. Then add stem length until your upper arms are at a 90° angle to your straightened back.
Thanks for the feedback! I've had a feeling that my bike is too small for me. Some charts suggest that with my 91cm inseam, I should be riding a 61cm frame. This current frame has a 58cm ST and 57cm TT.
I'll make the adjustments and see how it feels.
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Old 07-03-18, 06:05 PM
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I would concur on moving your seat back a bit, but also raise you stem to the max line and see how that feels before you replace it.
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Old 07-03-18, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I would concur on moving your seat back a bit, but also raise you stem to the max line and see how that feels before you replace it.
Unfortunately it was already set at its max height in the video. I've since swapped over to a threaded-to-threadless adapter, threadless stem and a set of 31.8 handlebars. It doesn't look as nice, but it does allow me to raise the handlebars higher, and I think a few centimeters should help.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-04-18, 12:22 PM
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I recommend learning to ride with elbows bent. If you ride the road like you ride the trainer, I think you're transmitting a lot of shock to your shoulders. I think that implies a shorter stem.
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Old 07-04-18, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I recommend learning to ride with elbows bent. If you ride the road like you ride the trainer, I think you're transmitting a lot of shock to your shoulders. I think that implies a shorter stem.
Yeah that's definitely something I'll keep in mind while riding. I think it's just something I do on the trainer because there's no road vibration, bumps, etc that I need to absorb. When I'm out on the road I have a bend and my torso is slightly lower.

I've made the adjustments that were suggested and it does seem to feel better, but I haven't been out on the road with it yet. I believe the reach changed by almost 4cm so that should help quite a lot.
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Old 07-04-18, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Yeah that's definitely something I'll keep in mind while riding. I think it's just something I do on the trainer because there's no road vibration, bumps, etc that I need to absorb. When I'm out on the road I have a bend and my torso is slightly lower.

I've made the adjustments that were suggested and it does seem to feel better, but I haven't been out on the road with it yet. I believe the reach changed by almost 4cm so that should help quite a lot.
I asked DannoXYZ to edit his iconic Numb Hands post, putting the photos back in. These photos show what it's supposed to look like, and also explains how to avoid the dreaded numb hands: Numb Hands

Those women are doing it right. Note bent elbows, elbows in front of or nearly in front of knees. Note in the 2 photos of the Timex rider, one with almost straight arms, the other elbows well bent, that the angles between upper arm and torso seem identical. That's normal and by far the most comfortable for long distance riding.

'97 Tour videos have good shots of the positioning of the young Jan Ullrich who climbed almost entirely in the saddle and whose fit was optimized for that:
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Old 07-05-18, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Yeah that's definitely something I'll keep in mind while riding. I think it's just something I do on the trainer because there's no road vibration, bumps, etc that I need to absorb. When I'm out on the road I have a bend and my torso is slightly lower.

I've made the adjustments that were suggested and it does seem to feel better, but I haven't been out on the road with it yet. I believe the reach changed by almost 4cm so that should help quite a lot.
Well, you have locked elbows not because the bar is too far forward, but because it is too low. You're reaching down to get to it. Making the stem shorter would just make your forearms overlap your knees.
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Old 07-05-18, 11:23 AM
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I'd try dropping the saddle by 3 or 4 mm, and see how that feels; it does look a bit high.
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Old 07-05-18, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I asked DannoXYZ to edit his iconic Numb Hands post, putting the photos back in. These photos show what it's supposed to look like, and also explains how to avoid the dreaded numb hands: Numb Hands

Those women are doing it right. Note bent elbows, elbows in front of or nearly in front of knees. Note in the 2 photos of the Timex rider, one with almost straight arms, the other elbows well bent, that the angles between upper arm and torso seem identical. That's normal and by far the most comfortable for long distance riding.
This helps me out a lot, thanks very much!

Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Well, you have locked elbows not because the bar is too far forward, but because it is too low. You're reaching down to get to it. Making the stem shorter would just make your forearms overlap your knees.
I put my handlebars up on my commuter by about 3cm and I think it felt much better. I'm going to do the same thing on my Bianchi, so I think you're definitely correct here. Thanks!

Originally Posted by clifftaylor View Post
I'd try dropping the saddle by 3 or 4 mm, and see how that feels; it does look a bit high.
I'll give that a try too, thanks!

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Old 07-17-18, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Hello all!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2g5aeQ4c_U

I'm getting some neck and shoulder pain when trying to do longer rides, and I'm wondering if perhaps my handlebars are too low and/or I'm too stretched out. I wear glasses when I ride so I think I'm also tilting my head further up than normal in order to see through my glasses.

I'm also having some right knee pain. I'm not sure if it's related to saddle height or cleat position, but I've measured my inseam to be 91cm and have set my saddle height at 81cm for the video. Does it look too high? It looks like I may be pointing my toe down too much and my hips might be rocking a little bit. I'm also 6'2 on a 58cm frame and I'm wondering if perhaps it's a bit too small. Maybe I should be riding something closer to 61cm with a shorter stem? The current stem is 120mm.

What do you think?
Thanks very much for any feedback!
At 6’2 you should try riding a 61cm frame. A 58cm appears too small for you and is possibly resulting in your discomfort.
I am 6’3 and ride a 61cm....perfect! FWIW...



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Old 07-21-18, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot1 View Post
At 6’2 you should try riding a 61cm frame. A 58cm appears too small for you and is possibly resulting in your discomfort.
I am 6’3 and ride a 61cm....perfect! FWIW...
Yep! When I look for a new bike, I'll be looking for at least a 61cm effective top tube I think. In the meantime I've ordered a 130mm stem and I'm going to look for a seat post with a bit more setback.
Thanks!
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Old 07-27-18, 05:13 PM
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Won't that stretch you out more and stress your neck, shoulders, and arms even more than they're stressed now?
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Old 07-29-18, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Won't that stretch you out more and stress your neck, shoulders, and arms even more than they're stressed now?

It might. I think that the handlebar height is likely the largest cause of pain in my neck. I have only managed to get one long ride in on the bike since I swapped the stem and bars, and so far the added reach hasn't helped much.

I've set the bars up to the maximum my current adapter will allow, which is still a 7cm difference between the saddle and the handlebars. So, I'll see how that feels. I think the extra 1cm I've added to the stem will be negated by the amount I've raised the handlebars.


Planning on riding my mountain bike today, but I'll try to record some more video tonight and get an opinion on the current position.
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Old 07-29-18, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Won't that stretch you out more and stress your neck, shoulders, and arms even more than they're stressed now?
Yes, given the old "other things being equal" but the point is, other things are never equal in these adjustments. His elbows may be bent more or less, his back may be straighter, his shoulders less hunched, wrist orientation, etc. My experience is that the technical explanations about "why" from bike fitters are not often satisfying, but there are reasons why specific changes usually lead to certain results.

If you were to diagram the force vectors, using a decent approximation of weight distribution in the upper body, I think that we would find that the change in stress in the shoulders, or arms, or hands, is just about insignificant either way even given various assumptions about position changes. Because of that, I surmise that the changes in position (which we'd be making assumptions about) are more relevant than the change in weight distribution.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:19 PM
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Ok, I've made another video with my fit changes. I measured my inseam again and it came out about 89.5cm, so I lowered my saddle down to 79cm. I found a seat post with a bit more setback and moved the saddle back. I've also raised the handlebars by maybe 3-4cm, and added 1cm to the stem. I think this gives me around a 5cm difference between the saddle and the handlebars.

I can see in the video that my back is straighter, but isn't quite as straight as it could be, yet. How does this look to you guys?
Thanks a lot!


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Old 08-01-18, 09:40 PM
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I’m not a bike fitter but to me the seat is to low. Not enough leg extension
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Old 08-01-18, 10:03 PM
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Hey, that looks like a cyclist! Nice. I'd experiment with saddle height on a long climb. Mess with it until it feels like you are generating power with the least effort. Looks low to me right now. It's what works best for you, not a calculated number. Check heel-on-pedal again.
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Old 08-01-18, 11:32 PM
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Hold this in reserve, but some time down the road you may want to read up on crank length. Leonard Zinn has written about it extensively, and there are a number of good web sites that discuss having crank length proportional to leg length.

Knee pain: Many say too long and you risk knee pain, but too short also causes knee pain. It is just that shorter people with cranks too long is more common.
Saddle setback: if you set your saddle with your knee above the pedal spindle (KOPS), your long femurs and short cranks push you well back on the saddle rails.
Power and endurance: personally I was maxed out on RPM and my legs got trashed on log rides with 175mm cranks. When I switched to proportional cranks, my endurance was amazing, and I set many personal bests. It allows you to use your longer limbs and muscles to full effect. And with less knee stress and more general comfort (saddle, back, arms).
The benefits go on and on.

By my calculations, you should be riding 193mm cranks. It only sounds crazy until you do a couple rides. Then you will never go back.

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Old 08-01-18, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
I’m not a bike fitter but to me the seat is to low. Not enough leg extension
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Hey, that looks like a cyclist! Nice. I'd experiment with saddle height on a long climb. Mess with it until it feels like you are generating power with the least effort. Looks low to me right now. It's what works best for you, not a calculated number. Check heel-on-pedal again.
Thanks for the feedback! I rode it like this for my commute and hated the saddle height. I've since cranked it back up to 81cm. I've also had it set to 82cm and I feel like that is my most powerful position, but I also felt like I was sitting on the nose of the saddle and was getting some discomfort, which I assumed meant it was too high. I didn't play with the fore-aft position at that height and I probably should, since 3cm of saddle height probably has an effect on the setback.
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Old 08-02-18, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Thanks for the feedback! I rode it like this for my commute and hated the saddle height. I've since cranked it back up to 81cm. I've also had it set to 82cm and I feel like that is my most powerful position, but I also felt like I was sitting on the nose of the saddle and was getting some discomfort, which I assumed meant it was too high. I didn't play with the fore-aft position at that height and I probably should, since 3cm of saddle height probably has an effect on the setback.

I like your second, lower position better. IME, it takes a while to adapt to lower saddle height using different muscles, but ultimately makes for smoother, higher rpm pedal stroke.

In both videos, your head & shoulders move back & forth w/ each stroke- looks like unnecessary motion.

You might try doing intervals on the trainer at >100 rpm cadence- this will make issues apparent, & show the value of more knee bend & forward rotated pelvis.
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Old 08-02-18, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I like your second, lower position better. IME, it takes a while to adapt to lower saddle height using different muscles, but ultimately makes for smoother, higher rpm pedal stroke.
Any idea how long I should try out a lower saddle position before I decide it's not going to work for me? Whenever I lower the saddle it feels like I can't really get any power down and my knees are cramped up. However I did notice that my glutes and hamstrings were more active with a lower saddle, and there was less discomfort.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-02-18, 05:23 PM
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Re saddle height: Not just 100 rpm. Cyclists should be able to spin at least 135 w/o bouncing on the saddle. So what I'd do is put it in a really low gear, probably your lowest, and spin it up to where you start bouncing. Then adjust saddle, try again. See if one height is better than another for you. I spin best at the same height that gives me the best power. Another thing you might think about is pedaling in the drops, like going hard upwind. Try that at different saddle heights, drops, flat back. May take some time to decide what's right for you out on the road.
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