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What sort of stem do i need to mimic this?

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What sort of stem do i need to mimic this?

Old 06-27-19, 02:16 AM
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nivalu
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Question What sort of stem do i need to mimic this?

i purchased a used bike that i now know to be a couple of sizes too small. i have had a lot of saddle pain and even more hand numbness.

so far, i've gotten a setback post, i'm on my 3rd saddle, and while the saddle problems are not completely solved, i am now trying to adjust the front end.

i thought maybe i'd need a longer stem, but i noticed during a longer ride that i sometimes wished the hoods were closer.

i loosened the front plate and rotated the handlebars 'up' a little, and i had a lot less numbness during my last (almost 6 mile) ride. so i'm getting closer.

having the bars rotated like that is probably not the right solution, so i am assuming i'd need to get a stem size that would cause the same effect.

i'm sure i need to adjust fore/aft of seat (it doesn't go any further down with this new post) but nothing has helped my hand problem more than this little rotation so i want to get that set up right.

sorry if i sound completely dumb--i really thought i knew a lot about bikes before buying this road bike..now i feel beyond clueless about even simple things.
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Old 06-27-19, 05:40 AM
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rm -rf
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Post a bike photo from the side.
Stand away from the bike, about halfway between the handlebars and the saddle, and hold the camera at top tube height. That will minimize angle distortion.

Then you'll get useful comments about the bar angle, hood placement, and stems. Once you have some idea of where you want the hoods, there's a stem calculator:

Stem comparison tool
You can estimate your current stem length and angle -- measure the distance between the center of the fork steerer and the center of the bars, in mm (or inches and convert it.) Estimate the angle from seeing the calculator's angles. Some stems have both numbers printed on them.
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Old 06-27-19, 05:43 AM
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Numbness
How many minutes before the hand numbness sets in? It's kind of unusual to get numb hands on a 6 mile ride, I think.

What part of your hand gets numb? Just certain fingers, or what?
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Old 06-27-19, 09:41 AM
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Sorry, but no one here will be able to offer good advise to tweak your fit. You need to start from the beginning and do some self-education on fitting specific to the type of riding you do. Lots of already posted guidance for basic bicycle fitting online. Do a google search, watch videos, talk to techs at bike stores, others cyclists in person with your bike.

Specifically, you are contradictory in your query. If you canít reach the hoods comfortably then the stem is not too short.

I donít understand why you canít lower the seat post or even if you need to, but if itís too long get a shorter one or modify the one you have. If the frame is really on the small end of what you can fit, then youíll want a seat post with a good deal of setback to get your position over the cranks right.

Get your position over the cranks set (height and setback) before adjusting the reach to the handlebars. Start with hoods level with bar tops and drops parallel to the ground. Tweak position from there.

Stop changing saddles until you get the basic fit setup. Start with saddle level and try small adjustments of up and down tilt to see what feels best.

Hand numbness is a symptom of so many issues, including your own general health and fitness. There are an unlimited number of things you can try to address numbness after you get a good basic bike fit.

Don't get frustrated, get smart about your bike fit. Then do only one adjustment at a time and evaluate before moving on.

Good luck!
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Old 06-27-19, 11:46 AM
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Sometimes within 20 mins. It is most of my fingers, sans thumb....because there's a little downhill on my MUP and I'm always terrified that I wont be able to grip the brakes at that point.

I bought gloves but Im still numb even with them. I think I may have been sold the wrong size. I hate being so dependent , and I also hate wasting money with shady LBS people who just sell anything without care that it is the right solution.

I did go for a semi fit at a store, but they just told me my bike was too small and tried to get me to get a new one. When I wasn't interested, they just said ...well ride this one till you're ready for something new.....which didnt actually fix any of my problems.

I promise I've been searching, going to different stores, asking people on and offline, everything I can. My other bike is a hybrid and I don't have these issues at all. I never had to wear padded shorts or gloves with that one, even on 20-30 mile rides. I went out the other day for a few miles on that one, and had no pain. It is a lot bigger, however. I used to think it was *too* big but now I regret that!


I changed saddles because I was getting awful saddle sores and as this is a big part of my weight loss, I can't afford to be off of the bike so much due to having to let them heal.

The post is long I guess but it isn't too high for me. I am 5'3'', the bike is a 50cm, my size is 54 (I didn't believe it either) , and with the setback post I am in a better crank position .

I guess this is the unfortunate time to mention that I am obese, so there's a stomach involved, so I am not looking to be super aggressive position-wise, just .....comfortable enough to do 20-30 and hopefully up to 50 mile rides without a ton of pain.
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Old 06-27-19, 12:24 PM
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A size 50 road bike for someone 5’3” should be workable. We could be of much more assistance if you could give a decent side photo as @rm -rf suggested.

You might try a zero setback seatpost if that doesn’t put you too far forward. This will bring the tops of your handlebars a bit closer.

Also, you didn’t say if this is a road bike but I’m assuming it is a drop bar road bike since you mentioned that your other bike is a hybrid.

I too am confused by some of the contradictions in your set up. Saying the frame is 2 sizes too small then saying that the seat is as low as it can go makes no sense to me - please clarify.

Being overweight with a belly does change your fit since getting low and being able to ride the drops might be uncomfortable for anything longer than a minute or so. Still factor in the drops in your mind because you need these drops as a safe descending position and for the pain reducing variety that they afford.

Bike fit is a bit of a moving target for most anybody I think but even more so if your weight yo-yo’s. As I have aged, I have learned to ride in a lower position without severe back or neck discomfort. I’ve even had herniated disc surgery but it doesn’t prevent me from getting into more of a racer position. So for stem fitting - I will flip my stem to get some upward rise if I’m too out of shape, but once I have 800 or 1,000 miles under my belt for the season the stem can get put back to horizontal. The type of stem that has an angle adjuster bolt with a built in protractor might be a useful tool as you experiment with different heights +/or angles. Once you know closer to your ideal stem length/angle, you can lose the protractor stem and just get the size stem (rigid) you need. I have a little metric tape measure that I use a lot and sometimes take fit notes and record them in a journal. You might check the top tube length, stem length and other measurement that could illuminate the difference between the hybrid that you are comfortable with and the new bike.

I wish you luck with optimizing your fit and look forward to that photo. Maybe you could have someone take your picture from the side while you are riding - the visual would really help us internet bike fitters provide some true feedback.
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Old 06-27-19, 12:47 PM
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Cool

Shorter, rising angle, stem , maybe higher bars, butt further back, with more setback ..

will shift your bodies , center of mass back & off your hands..
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Old 06-27-19, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
A size 50 road bike for someone 5í3Ē should be workable. We could be of much more assistance if you could give a decent side photo as @rm -rf suggested.

You might try a zero setback seatpost if that doesnít put you too far forward. This will bring the tops of your handlebars a bit closer.

Also, you didnít say if this is a road bike but Iím assuming it is a drop bar road bike since you mentioned that your other bike is a hybrid.

I too am confused by some of the contradictions in your set up. Saying the frame is 2 sizes too small then saying that the seat is as low as it can go makes no sense to me - please clarify.

Being overweight with a belly does change your fit since getting low and being able to ride the drops might be uncomfortable for anything longer than a minute or so. Still factor in the drops in your mind because you need these drops as a safe descending position and for the pain reducing variety that they afford.

Bike fit is a bit of a moving target for most anybody I think but even more so if your weight yo-yoís. As I have aged, I have learned to ride in a lower position without severe back or neck discomfort. Iíve even had herniated disc surgery but it doesnít prevent me from getting into more of a racer position. So for stem fitting - I will flip my stem to get some upward rise if Iím too out of shape, but once I have 800 or 1,000 miles under my belt for the season the stem can get put back to horizontal. The type of stem that has an angle adjuster bolt with a built in protractor might be a useful tool as you experiment with different heights +/or angles. Once you know closer to your ideal stem length/angle, you can lose the protractor stem and just get the size stem (rigid) you need. I have a little metric tape measure that I use a lot and sometimes take fit notes and record them in a journal. You might check the top tube length, stem length and other measurement that could illuminate the difference between the hybrid that you are comfortable with and the new bike.

I wish you luck with optimizing your fit and look forward to that photo. Maybe you could have someone take your picture from the side while you are riding - the visual would really help us internet bike fitters provide some true feedback.
I purchased the setback post based on your suggestion a couple of weeks ago. It did help with my lower body positioning ---my knees were too far forward.

Although I did buy a post with the same length as the original , it "bottoms out" when inserted with about 5 inches of post exposed. Luckily, that is a fine height for me--I am not overstretched legwise even with various fore/aft positions. I got it tilted and the person did it too high, wayyyy too high up so when I rode it again it was a mess...I had to get someone else to adjust it level again and the fore/aft got screwed up in the process. I have been experimenting to get a good position with that, but so far I have not had issues with the height no matter what.



I have read a lot of the posts in this subforum and what I'm thinking is that maybe my arms are proportionally short and my legs are longish for my height.

Thanks for the point about the drops, I'll keep that in mind.

I have an adjustable stem on my hybrid and I do indeed like being able to play with heights. I would like to buy one for the road bike which is why I was trying to figure out if it needs to be longer or shorter. I would have thought longer before the little rotation experiment, but as was stated above, seems like my reach is too long in that direction.

From reading other posts, this may be related to flexibility too, not just belly size (ugh I hate discussing a belly!)

@fietsbob I feel very......can't even think of a negative enough adjective.....but I really do wish the handlebars could be higher! I know that takes the "road bike" out of it but maybe all of this other stuff is just a roundabout way of compensating for that.
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Old 06-27-19, 04:38 PM
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Not a photo of the bike. 2 photos of you on the bike, 1 with hands on hoods, normal riding position, pedals vertical, 1 with hands on hoods, forearms horizontal, pedals level.
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Old 06-27-19, 05:21 PM
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wow of me on the bike?

id rather have more saddle sores for the rest of my life than put a picture of myself om the internet at my size!


i appreciate everyones advice, i didnt think it would require a photo...especially since this is just handlebars, not a total fit thing. i assumed it would be an IFTT kind of solution, like... if you want the bars to do x, then do y or z.......

i dont want to keep buying parts randomly but i will buy a couple of adjustable stems at different sizes and see how i get on.

thanks!
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Old 06-29-19, 12:37 PM
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My suggestion would be to find a lbs and do a proper bike fitting. I'm sure there are people here that can get a view of you on your bike and likely get you pretty close. But I feel that a legitimate bike shop is going to be professional in their approach, and Im sure they will make you as comfortable as possible during the fitting. They will have the knowledge and know how to get your body in the right position on the bike. Or atleast as close as you can get it. I certainly understand your feelings about the extra pounds and the modesty. But I commend you for doing something about it. Dont let fear keep you from riding comfortably.
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Old 06-29-19, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
My suggestion would be to find a lbs and do a proper bike fitting. I'm sure there are people here that can get a view of you on your bike and likely get you pretty close. But I feel that a legitimate bike shop is going to be professional in their approach, and Im sure they will make you as comfortable as possible during the fitting. They will have the knowledge and know how to get your body in the right position on the bike. Or atleast as close as you can get it. I certainly understand your feelings about the extra pounds and the modesty. But I commend you for doing something about it. Dont let fear keep you from riding comfortably.
Thank you for your incredibly kind response.

I did go to an LBS. They put my bike up on a trainer and quickly assessed that it was too small for me. We went out on the floor and tried larger sized bikes to see which one would be good for me, but I made it clear I was not interested or able to purchase another just 2 weeks after getting this one.

After that, they kinda weren't interested in going over specifics. They just said to keep riding this one as best I could until I was ready to upgrade.

There is another LBS that does fits during the day, so maybe if I am off one day I may try again. I think I will still largely be expected to know things I'm still a little shaky on, like ideal position, etc, so til then I will just ride and keep figuring things out.

Today I did about 25 miles fasted (almost all of my long rides are always fasted), just randomly riding through town (I was not in the mood for our crowded MUP). The "rotated" bars were ok. My knees hurt a little now but it could just be from the time it took to do the ride and my general conditioning. They did not hurt while riding.

I had to scoot back pretty often on the seat but surprisingly it didnt start hurting till near the end......

Hands still get numb on and off but a little less so than normal.
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Old 06-29-19, 07:52 PM
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I'm perpetually seeking a good fit, next time I'll use the LBS near me.

Anyway how are your arms extended when you're riding? You want them to be slightly bent towards an L shape. You mentioned rotating the bars? So that the drop bar ends are higher or so that the brake hoods are higher?

Do you have a threadless stem that you can easily flip or is it an older quill stem?

When I bought my new pair of gloves my hands got numb again. For me raising my bar height helped numbness.

The saddle pain will probably diminish, I've gone from mtb to road and there's different pressure point areas. Chamois creme helps, sometimes shorts with less padding also helps. Is your saddle slammed backwards even with a setback post?

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Old 06-29-19, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I'm perpetually seeking a good fit, next time I'll use the LBS near me.

Anyway how are your arms extended when you're riding? You want them to be slightly bent towards an L shape. You mentioned rotating the bars? So that the drop bar ends are higher or so that the brake hoods are higher?

Do you have a threadless stem that you can easily flip or is it an older quill stem?

When I bought my new pair of gloves my hands got numb again. For me raising my bar height helped numbness.

The saddle pain will probably diminish, I've gone from mtb to road and there's different pressure point areas. Chamois creme helps, sometimes shorts with less padding also helps. Is your saddle slammed backwards even with a setback post?
no, the saddle was kinda arbitrarily set--i asked to have my saddle angled up because my minitool wasnt reaching the adjustment bolts on the new seatpost that well.....the lbs guy did it but it was wayy too extreme. i had a long ride the next day and struggled to get it readjusted on my own, so the seat fore/aft was a mess...then when i finally found someone to fix it, again, it just was put wherever. that was fine with me because the main point was to be able to ride without it crushing me so bad!

there should be some space to slide it back a little at least.

yeah i think my hands were worse with the gloves. they were too small anyway ---salesperson told me that gloves get bigger over time smh.....anyway i dont even bring them anymore.

the stem is one of these:


my arms are closer to an L shape now ...i always felt they were too straight before.

the purpose of rotating the bars up a little was so that the hoods would be higher/closer to me.
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Old 06-30-19, 03:19 PM
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Try the other bike shop, explain that you are new, you know the bike is to small but they will still fit you to the bike. Let them know you aren't buying a new bike. You want to be fit to yours as best as possible. I hope thos other shop gives you better service. Just dont give up. And just a suggestion, let the bike fitter do what they know to do. They should check your flexibility and adjust the bike to you. I wouldnt suggest tilting the saddle up...... ouch......
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Old 06-30-19, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
Try the other bike shop, explain that you are new, you know the bike is to small but they will still fit you to the bike. Let them know you aren't buying a new bike. You want to be fit to yours as best as possible. I hope thos other shop gives you better service. Just dont give up. And just a suggestion, let the bike fitter do what they know to do. They should check your flexibility and adjust the bike to you. I wouldnt suggest tilting the saddle up...... ouch......
Thanks for the advice. The 2nd LBS that can do courtesy fits is the same one I got the saddle overtilted at. They are who I have gone to most often since all this started last month. My preferred shop was Performance because I felt much more welcome there, but they have closed all of their stores. So its so hard having to go into normal LBS in the first place, I just feel very out of place and looked down upon.

Anyway I just wanted the saddle like a percent or so raised up, thinking it would help. He tilted it super far and I didn't really test it....and it was hell to get fixed because the new stem's bolts are ...deep in there. I had to go 5 miles on that titled thing and it was hell. I'm slow and the MUP was super crowded so that took quite some time.

He (store 2) already knows about what happened at the first. He actually is the one who suggested I get a used bike, so I know he is not going to push about the bikes....he is more about selling accessories. He wanted me to try a $150 saddle to fix my problems but I just got another online.....I feel bad about that but I just don't have that kind of budget. Every time I go I buy little things there, at least, to support, but it is hard to justify spending $150 on something Amazon has for $22.

I won't be available during the day to get the fit from them for a couple of weeks. Yesterday's long ride was OK till the end. I am sure I am not set up very mechanically efficient just yet and a bigger problem is me and always riding in too high of a gear....so if I can deal with that I may get somewhere with this....
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Old 06-30-19, 08:22 PM
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Maybe look for other shops in the surrounding areas, also dont ask for a courtesy fit. Schedule an appointment for a bike fitting. Big difference. I understand how you feel but I'd be willing to bet your like I was. Most of my apprehension was self inflicted. Once I went in and had a conversation or two I found the folks at my lbs are pretty good folks. I know some shops have real jerks but thankfully not all are like that.
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Old 07-01-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
Maybe look for other shops in the surrounding areas, also dont ask for a courtesy fit. Schedule an appointment for a bike fitting. Big difference. I understand how you feel but I'd be willing to bet your like I was. Most of my apprehension was self inflicted. Once I went in and had a conversation or two I found the folks at my lbs are pretty good folks. I know some shops have real jerks but thankfully not all are like that.
full fits around here are $200-300 and i'm not sure if i'm at that level yet ....but i will keep it in mind.

and yes, i am guilty of self-inflicted apprehension. its hard being so dependent on others for information or help.....when i couldnt fix my stem i was stuck on an MUP for over 30 mins trying to make my weak multitool dig into the stem bolt...i felt so helpless and defeated. i always prefer to go into these places with at least a little knowledge, especially since i dont 'look the part'.
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Old 07-01-19, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nivalu View Post
full fits around here are $200-300 and i'm not sure if i'm at that level yet ....but i will keep it in mind.

and yes, i am guilty of self-inflicted apprehension. its hard being so dependent on others for information or help.....when i couldnt fix my stem i was stuck on an MUP for over 30 mins trying to make my weak multitool dig into the stem bolt...i felt so helpless and defeated. i always prefer to go into these places with at least a little knowledge, especially since i dont 'look the part'.
I only feel so strongly about a bike fitting cause it could have save me alot of time money and frustration. just think about it. If your riding consistently, my opinion is your at that level. It will increase your riding comfort and you'll have confidence in your set up.
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Old 07-02-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
I only feel so strongly about a bike fitting cause it could have save me alot of time money and frustration. just think about it. If your riding consistently, my opinion is your at that level. It will increase your riding comfort and you'll have confidence in your set up.
i totally believe you. when i'm able to afford it and can find someone open minded enough to work with a different body type/type of rider i will be all over it. the town i live in is very skewed towards the more athletic folks.

for now i have gone back to platform pedals --found some really big ones so i hope they'll work for me--and will test out a few different stem types.
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Old 07-02-19, 06:55 PM
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OK, so self-fitting. Maybe the first thing is to go back to the LBS and buy a multi-tool or maybe a couple separate tools which will allow you to reach and fit into everything you need to adjust.

A nice little primer on drop bar and brifter (combi brake and shifter) placement and adjustment is here: Drop Bar Hand Positions: an Introduction Make yours look like the photos.

Next, saddle height. Simplest thing is to get going on the bike, then put one of your heels on the pedal and pedal that way either backwards or forward for a bit, Your leg should be completely straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke with your heel barely touching the pedal.

Saddle angle: put a level on the saddle and adjust it so that the spot on the saddle your butt occupies is level.

Saddle fore-and-aft: sitting on the bike - maybe leaning against a wall - with the pedals level, drop a plumb bob from the bony protuberance below your knee. It should intersect the center of your pedal axle. Move the saddle until that's so. You can use a nut and string or anything for the plumb bob. This measurement doesn't have to be all that accurate. If you have to move the saddle, go back and redo the saddle height step.

Stem length: after all the above has been done, sit on the bike with a mirror beside you. Grab the brifter hoods in your normal riding position and straighten your back as best you can. Your upper arms should make a 90į angle with your torso. If they don't, try to guess at a stem length that would make that true. You can move the hand toward the mirror forward or back until it looks right, then see how many centimeters you've moved it. Stems are remarkably inexpensive on Amazon.

So there, you've saved yourself some major money. A pro bike fitter won't do much more than you can do yourself by following these steps.
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Old 07-04-19, 11:12 AM
  #22  
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i definitely need better tools. i've gotten by with my multitools and a couple of non bike specific wrenches for a couple of decades, but i need 'full size' tools too. when i got my seat fixed i bought the tool they used to do it, but i just swapped pedals the other day and my wrenches were too 'thick' to help, so i had to go back to an lbs.

i will be ordering a pedal wrench soon.

i bought some very large flat pedals and they seem to be a lot more comfortable--plus i dont have to keep fidgeting with or flipping the old spd pedals and i can wear regular shoes.

i had more hand and 'crotch' discomfort yesterday than i have in quite some time, and i was constantly having to scoot back, so i moved the saddle forward a little.

despite all of that, i had the fastest ride ever which is huge for my morale--it sucks being markedly slower than anyone else. im guessing the better pedals made the difference.

i don't keep full body mirrors in the house (i am obese) but i will figure out a way to follow your instructions sometime soon.




Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
OK, so self-fitting. Maybe the first thing is to go back to the LBS and buy a multi-tool or maybe a couple separate tools which will allow you to reach and fit into everything you need to adjust.

A nice little primer on drop bar and brifter (combi brake and shifter) placement and adjustment is here: Drop Bar Hand Positions: an Introduction Make yours look like the photos.

Next, saddle height. Simplest thing is to get going on the bike, then put one of your heels on the pedal and pedal that way either backwards or forward for a bit, Your leg should be completely straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke with your heel barely touching the pedal.

Saddle angle: put a level on the saddle and adjust it so that the spot on the saddle your butt occupies is level.

Saddle fore-and-aft: sitting on the bike - maybe leaning against a wall - with the pedals level, drop a plumb bob from the bony protuberance below your knee. It should intersect the center of your pedal axle. Move the saddle until that's so. You can use a nut and string or anything for the plumb bob. This measurement doesn't have to be all that accurate. If you have to move the saddle, go back and redo the saddle height step.

Stem length: after all the above has been done, sit on the bike with a mirror beside you. Grab the brifter hoods in your normal riding position and straighten your back as best you can. Your upper arms should make a 90į angle with your torso. If they don't, try to guess at a stem length that would make that true. You can move the hand toward the mirror forward or back until it looks right, then see how many centimeters you've moved it. Stems are remarkably inexpensive on Amazon.

So there, you've saved yourself some major money. A pro bike fitter won't do much more than you can do yourself by following these steps.
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Old 07-04-19, 05:05 PM
  #23  
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Why not see what https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp says about bike size for you?

Also, you can have someone take photos of you on your bike and crop out your head.

Given that what you've tried out hasn't worked, I think you need go back to the basics, and to get good advice from this forum, you'll need eaither measurements or photos.

I have a hard time believing that a 50 CM frame can't be made to fit pretty well if you're 5' 3". If you really need a 54 CM frame, that means your torso is unusually short, and you'd have to stretch out pretty far, even on a 'women-specific designed' bike.

Numb hands means physical ailment (carpal tunnel syndrome caused my numbness) or too much weight on your hands - from a down-tilted seat, seat too close to bars, straight elbows, weak core, etc., etc., etc.. Without photos, though, how can anyone tell?
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Old 07-04-19, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Why not see what https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp says about bike size for you?


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Old 07-04-19, 07:38 PM
  #25  
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The photo of your bike is still the best way to proceed.

Some bikes are set up very badly, with odd handlebar angles, bad hood positions, and too much saddle tilt. A photo would show yours is either: reasonable; or needing some big adjustments.

Then go ride more often, and see if you are improving. Short rides if you are getting pains.
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