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Most overthought bikefitting measurements?

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Most overthought bikefitting measurements?

Old 08-30-19, 11:40 PM
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sumgy
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Most overthought bikefitting measurements?

Interested in people's thoughts.

For me it is standover (important if you spend lots of time standing over your top tube, but not for much else) and saddle width (for me saddle comfort is much more important than width).
People seem to focus on these 2 aspects of fit at the expense of getting saddle height, saddle fore and aft, and bar height correct, and I see lots of people on bikes that are way too small for them (and with long seatposts and raised bars as a result) on the basis that they need more standover than a bigger bike can provide.
I know on my horizontal top tube bike I have very little standover, but my sloping top tube bikes I have a little more.
My SMP Composit saddles are both quite narrow, but they are comfortable.



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Old 08-31-19, 07:19 PM
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I'd say that saddle comfort can't be overthought. It's probably the most asked question: "How can I keep my butt (balls, dick, scrotum), upper thighs, seat bones, etc., etc., from hurting or getting sore or going numb or falling off, or whatever." Saddle width is frequently a component of their issue. Unable to sit on the saddle for very long is a show stopper. Everything else can be put up with as long as it isn't dangerous.
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Old 08-31-19, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'd say that saddle comfort can't be overthought. It's probably the most asked question: "How can I keep my butt (balls, dick, scrotum), upper thighs, seat bones, etc., etc., from hurting or getting sore or going numb or falling off, or whatever." Saddle width is frequently a component of their issue. Unable to sit on the saddle for very long is a show stopper. Everything else can be put up with as long as it isn't dangerous.
Agree that saddle comfort is VERY important.
But I am unsure that saddle width is the reason for discomfort any more than saddle tilt/setup is.
People seem to be jumping at saddle width being the problem currently.
Saddle design is also another reason for saddle discomfort.
I cannot sit for more than a few minutes on Fizik saddles for example.
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Old 08-31-19, 08:30 PM
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Saddle comfort is my non-negotiable. After that, my tolerance for nuances of geometry, stem length, stand over, and other factors are all flexible.
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Old 09-01-19, 07:53 AM
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Seems like you like a large frame for your physical size and a relaxed riding position. I am the opposite of you, I see a lot of people riding a too large frame with their seat slammed and the bars/stem jacked up too high. I like a smaller frame and an aggressive or at least a semi-aggressive position on the bicycle.

I like a good bit of saddle to bar drop, goodly amount of seat post extension and a tight frame. My most important consideration is top tube C/C. Standover is important, I like to see at least some. With the cycling shoes on, there should be ideally approximately 1.5 inches between ground and hard contact.

Frame size labeling is obsessed over, it does not matter what the stated frame size is, measure the dang (effective) top tube.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Agree that saddle comfort is VERY important.
But I am unsure that saddle width is the reason for discomfort any more than saddle tilt/setup is.
People seem to be jumping at saddle width being the problem currently.
Saddle design is also another reason for saddle discomfort.
I cannot sit for more than a few minutes on Fizik saddles for example.
I agree. Saddle comfort is dependent upon saddle position. I think many of the newer saddle designs are band aids for bad saddle fit, generally a too high seat height.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Seems like you like a large frame for your physical size and a relaxed riding position. I am the opposite of you, I see a lot of people riding a too large frame with their seat slammed and the bars/stem jacked up too high. I like a smaller frame and an aggressive or at least a semi-aggressive position on the bicycle.

I like a good bit of saddle to bar drop, goodly amount of seat post extension and a tight frame. My most important consideration is top tube C/C. Standover is important, I like to see at least some. With the cycling shoes on, there should be ideally approximately 1.5 inches between ground and hard contact.

Frame size labeling is obsessed over, it does not matter what the stated frame size is, measure the dang (effective) top tube.
Me?
I am 6'2", and both of those are 58cm frames with 120mm stems and traditional drop bars.
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Old 09-01-19, 01:23 PM
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Early in my cycling career, maybe 9 years ago, I had great difficulty finding saddle comfort. It was so bad I contemplated giving up the bike. At that time I remembered that as a boy, a few farmers in my rural town were still working their fields with horse drawn equipment. That type of machinery had an iron seat that was wider than the farmer so that weight was distributed over a wide area and a farmer could work all day, day after day on such a seat. So I theorized that a bike saddle most likely should be as wide as possible. This approach has worked for me with a modification for my personal geometry. Whether a wider saddle would also work for you no one can say in advance but be prepared to experiment.

Occasionally we see old farm implements as decoration on lawns. If you see such a machine on your rides, stop and see if the home owner would sell the iron seat, cheap.
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Old 09-01-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
Early in my cycling career, maybe 9 years ago, I had great difficulty finding saddle comfort. It was so bad I contemplated giving up the bike. At that time I remembered that as a boy, a few farmers in my rural town were still working their fields with horse drawn equipment. That type of machinery had an iron seat that was wider than the farmer so that weight was distributed over a wide area and a farmer could work all day, day after day on such a seat. So I theorized that a bike saddle most likely should be as wide as possible. This approach has worked for me with a modification for my personal geometry. Whether a wider saddle would also work for you no one can say in advance but be prepared to experiment.

Occasionally we see old farm implements as decoration on lawns. If you see such a machine on your rides, stop and see if the home owner would sell the iron seat, cheap.
No, for most cycling pursuits and bicycles a saddle that is wide enough to capture the sit bones and narrow enough to stay out of the way of the pedaling is correct. The racier bicycles need a narrow seat and the seat is not supporting but about 1/3 of the body weight. More upright types of bicycles, like an English 3-speed (aka English Racer) can benefit from a wider, shorter saddle because the derrière has to support 60% to 75% of the body weight. Yeah, I put a load scale on my bicycle some years ago and I do have a nice E3S and even with my set up aggressive I had nearly 60% of my body weight on the saddle average as opposed to about 40% on my racier road bikes with good saddle to bar drop.

Farmers do not pedal their tractors, modeling your bicycle seat after a farm implement might not work so well.
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Old 09-01-19, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Me?
I am 6'2", and both of those are 58cm frames with 120mm stems and traditional drop bars.
I think your bike looks well set up and I am not really disagreeing with you, I think we have come to similar results from points of reference 180 degrees apart. Unless you go putting a tractor seat on that beauty!

And, particularly with the new sloped tube TT bikes, standover has become irrelevant. And it was never big with me, though on a MTB (and a cycle cross bike) you better have plenty of room, on a road bike as long as you do not have to tilt the bike to the side to get SO, you are good, if the bike fits and works otherwise, so I am agreeing with you really.

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Old 09-01-19, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I think your bike looks well set up and I am not really disagreeing with you, I think we have come to similar results from points of reference 180 degrees apart. Unless you go putting a tractor seat on that beauty!

And, particularly with the new sloped tube TT bikes, standover has become irrelevant. And it was never big with me, though on a MTB (and a cycle cross bike) you better have plenty of room, on a road bike as long as you do not have to tilt the bike to the side to get SO, you are good, if the bike fits and works otherwise, so I am agreeing with you really.
I don't even believe it makes that much sense on a MTB.
In 20 odd years of MTBing, I have NEVER managed to crash or emergency stop where I landed with both feet on the ground on perfectly flat ground on my MTB's.
Not saying to get a MTB with no standover at all, but it is not a measurement I even look at (MTB or road).
But I see so many people who think it is vitally important, including a post I was just reading where the poster said it was the most important measurement for them as they could easily adjust their saddle height, tilt, fore-aft, stem length etc.
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Old 09-01-19, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I agree. Saddle comfort is dependent upon saddle position. I think many of the newer saddle designs are band aids for bad saddle fit, generally a too high seat height.
Yep, I see lots of people who should drop their saddle.
Usually I can tell by the fact that their hips are rocking, or they are reaching with one leg or the other (or both).
I am in the low saddle height camp, with a 76cm saddle to BB drop and cycling inseam of 35".
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Old 09-01-19, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
I don't even believe it makes that much sense on a MTB.
In 20 odd years of MTBing, I have NEVER managed to crash or emergency stop where I landed with both feet on the ground on perfectly flat ground on my MTB's.
Not saying to get a MTB with no standover at all, but it is not a measurement I even look at (MTB or road).
But I see so many people who think it is vitally important, including a post I was just reading where the poster said it was the most important measurement for them as they could easily adjust their saddle height, tilt, fore-aft, stem length etc.
Again, I really do not disagree with you but I have dismounted flat footed, not on purpose and more than once. But the good thing that makes standover really not important, agree with you, is that most MTBs today and even in the past had/have sloped tops tubes. If one is even close in their frame size choice, they will have plenty of standover thus, again, agreeing with you, makes standover a tertiary consideration. But, like the other fellow said, other things can be adjusted, standover cannot be.

Funny thing, I just bought a new Bianchi Pista SS/Fixie and the owners manual boldly and specifically states that if you do not have standover do not even attempt to ride the bicycle, so Bianchi (the world's oldest existing bicycle company, 134 years) must consider it important or their lawyers do, one or other. Good thing, I have about 1.5 inches and the TT is my (for me) magic 56cm. My Surly Cross Check 54cm, 56cm TT, has a ton of standover considering it's cycle cross DNA and my new Pista not so much. These two bikes, the Surly 10 years ago and my new Pista a few weeks ago are the only two new bicycles I have bought since 1996. But I have rescued quite a few over those years.
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Old 09-04-19, 01:12 AM
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Any measurements taken from the tip of a saddle or to the stem clamp of a non flat bar.
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Old 09-04-19, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Tulok View Post
Any measurements taken from the tip of a saddle or to the stem clamp of a non flat bar.
Unless you are trying to transfer your measurements from one road bike to another.
And it is completely useless for transferring from some MTB's to another regardless of whether they are flat bar or not.
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Old 09-04-19, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Unless you are trying to transfer your measurements from one road bike to another.
And it is completely useless for transferring from some MTB's to another regardless of whether they are flat bar or not.
If the road bikes have the same bar bend, same brake levers, same angles, same saddle. It could get you close.

Good point on the mtb!
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Old 09-05-19, 09:37 AM
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Saddle width is a part of saddle comfort, so I don't see the point in distinguishing between them. If the saddle is either too wide or too narrow, it won't be comfortable. Standover matters because you have to stop sometime. Basically, it shouldn't be a negative number.
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Old 09-05-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kotts View Post
Saddle width is a part of saddle comfort, so I don't see the point in distinguishing between them. If the saddle is either too wide or too narrow, it won't be comfortable. Standover matters because you have to stop sometime. Basically, it shouldn't be a negative number.
Well I kind of agree, but I buy bikes to ride, not to stand over. I see so many comments here where huge amounts of standover seems to be prioritised over fit, leading to people on bikes that are very obviously too small.
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Old 09-23-19, 11:53 PM
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Standover is a quick and dirty measurement that gets a rider to approximately the right size bike frame. If you can't stand over the top tube, the bike is definitely too big for you. If you can just barely stand over it, the bike is probably still too big. Once you get into the neighborhood of the right frame size, you still want to play with saddle height, bar height, crank arm length, whatever, to get the riding position right. That's where the important fitting is done.

I've discussed sit bone width elsewhere. It's not completely irrelevant; but it depends a great deal on the rider's position on the bike, especially the angle of the pelvis relative to the saddle. Until you determine that angle, talk of saddle width is just noise.
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Old 09-24-19, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Standover is a quick and dirty measurement that gets a rider to approximately the right size bike frame. If you can't stand over the top tube, the bike is definitely too big for you. If you can just barely stand over it, the bike is probably still too big. Once you get into the neighborhood of the right frame size, you still want to play with saddle height, bar height, crank arm length, whatever, to get the riding position right. That's where the important fitting is done.

I've discussed sit bone width elsewhere. It's not completely irrelevant; but it depends a great deal on the rider's position on the bike, especially the angle of the pelvis relative to the saddle. Until you determine that angle, talk of saddle width is just noise.
I guess we will need to agree to disagree on both.
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Old 09-24-19, 05:17 PM
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For me it is standover (important if you spend lots of time standing over your top tube, but not for much else)....
It's also important if one comes down hard on the top tube.

and saddle width (for me saddle comfort is much more important than width).
I agree on this. Most people riding road bikes rest on their pubic rami, not their ischial tuberosities.

People seem to focus on these 2 aspects of fit at the expense of getting saddle height, saddle fore and aft, and bar height correct....
Where do you see that? I see lots of questions on saddle height and some on saddle fore and aft.

...I see lots of people on bikes that are way too small for them (and with long seatposts and raised bars as a result) on the basis that they need more standover than a bigger bike can provide.
Is it the standover propaganda or is it that racers ride small bikes, and buyers want to look like racers? I strongly suspect it's the latter.
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Old 09-24-19, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
It's also important if one comes down hard on the top tube.

I have never managed to crash any bike and land with both feet flat on the ground. I just don't have this level of control while crashing.

Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Where do you see that? I see lots of questions on saddle height and some on saddle fore and aft.
Agree, but often after they have already bought a bike. I see so many pictures of bike set up where saddle height etc would appear to have been a secondary thought.

Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Is it the standover propaganda or is it that racers ride small bikes, and buyers want to look like racers? I strongly suspect it's the latter.
It could be both, but many of the poorly fitted (too small) bikes I have seen are not race bikes.
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Old 09-24-19, 07:57 PM
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Do you not ever stop in an emergency? That's when I appreciate an inch of space between me and the TT.

...many of the poorly fitted (too small) bikes I have seen are not race bikes.
One of the prevailing thoughts about purchasing a bike is to pick the smaller, if you're between sizes. Ads show off race bikes. Conventional wisdom is that lighter is better in bikes. I think marketing has more than a bit of influence on how bikes are set up.

And that's without considering the fact that one usually doesn't see enough with one's own eyes to support much in the way of generalizations.
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Old 09-24-19, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Do you not ever stop in an emergency? That's when I appreciate an inch of space between me and the TT.
I do. But I have never stopped and removed both feet from the pedals at the same time to place them flat on the ground on ether my road bikes or MTB's

Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
One of the prevailing thoughts about purchasing a bike is to pick the smaller, if you're between sizes. Ads show off race bikes. Conventional wisdom is that lighter is better in bikes. I think marketing has more than a bit of influence on how bikes are set up.

And that's without considering the fact that one usually doesn't see enough with one's own eyes to support much in the way of generalizations.
Unsure whether people riding commuter bikes and hybrids pay a lot of attention to ads for road race bikes, but you may be right.
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Old 09-24-19, 08:20 PM
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I'm with you, as long as I can stand up over it I care zip about any specific clearance.

But to take it more literally, I think people take the most unnecessary time and trouble on their saddle height.
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