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Help! I look like a Giant on this Bike

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Help! I look like a Giant on this Bike

Old 05-09-20, 05:21 PM
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RobertJason75
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Help! I look like a Giant on this Bike

I was given a decent Cyclocross bike (2008 model 54cm Specialized Tricross) recently. The first owner took off the original drop-down bars and replaced them with flat bars--which moves the hand position back a couple inches. I'm 5'10-1/2" with a 32-1/2" bike inseam. Do I "look cramped" on this bike? I'm pretty sure I feel cramped...Any tips for making it fit me? I'm considering getting drop-down bars and maybe a longer stem. I believe it has a 100mm stem already. I am coming from a mountain bike that was recently stolen and had a 3" longer top-tube. I'm in my 40's and like bike that's somewhat of a hybrid in posture, but not a clunky feeling cruiser. I've always been happy with Gary Fisher mountain bikes. This bike does feel faster though I look like a giant.

Thanks for any advice. Now that I see this photo I realize why it felt small. (I can't seem to upload the photo... will keep trying)


Last edited by RobertJason75; 05-09-20 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Add photo
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Old 05-09-20, 05:23 PM
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Edward1066
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Originally Posted by RobertJason75 View Post
I was given a decent Cyclocross bike (2008 model 54cm Specialized Tricross) recently. The first owner took off the original drop-down bars and replaced them with flat bars--which moves the hand position back a couple inches. I'm 5'10-1/2" with a 32-1/2" bike inseam. Do I "look cramped" on this bike? I'm pretty sure I feel cramped...Any tips for making it fit me? I'm considering getting drop-down bars and maybe a longer stem. I believe it has a 100mm stem already. I am coming from a mountain bike that was recently stolen and had a 3" longer top-tube. I'm in my 40's and like bike that's somewhat of a hybrid in posture, but not a clunky feeling cruiser. I've always been happy with Gary Fisher mountain bikes. This bike does feel faster though I look like a giant.

Thanks for any advice. Now that I see this photo I realize why it felt small. (I can't seem to upload the photo... will keep trying)
It'll take you 10 postings before you can post a picture. Welcome to Bike Forums!
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Old 05-09-20, 05:28 PM
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Oh, I see. Thank you! I'll delete this and ask again another day.
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Old 05-09-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertJason75 View Post
Oh, I see. Thank you! I'll delete this and ask again another day.
You can upload the photo to a site that host pics. Then paste the URL in the text of your message. You'll need to change the "." to a " dot " and maybe remove the colon from https: and a few other things.

Don't use any of the tools to add the link, just make it in the plain text part of your message.

You can also go around and make some comments on other posts till you get to ten. Perhaps the general section or elsewhere you find interesting. I think it's ten posts and one day after the tenth.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:48 PM
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Thanks Edward and IRide. I was able to upload the photo. Now, looking at it I'm thinking this is beyond a handlebar and stem change. Maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 05-10-20, 05:39 AM
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The bike is om the small side but not that bad for a free bike. I think you are close. The saddle looks low as your leg has a bit more too much bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Try raising it an inch and at the same time move it aft also. Handle bar stems are not that costly so try one that is an inch longer. Then evaluate how the bike feels on your longest ride.
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Old 05-10-20, 05:52 AM
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I raised the handlebars on a bike that was a bit small for me. Now it is very comfortable. I don't know how you would feel about doing something similar.



Raising the handlebars
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Old 05-10-20, 06:00 AM
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Looks like a longer stem would help. The stem appears to be rising which would also help if the stem is extended.
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Old 05-10-20, 07:48 AM
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if it's not the right size for you sell it & get one your size

fwiw - I got a free bike & had no idea it was too small for me until a bike shop owner told me. until that point, I was having a ball w/ it, even commuting 34 miles round trip!
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Old 05-10-20, 08:42 AM
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Sitting that upright, I'd be uncomfortable for anything but a leisurely ride around the neighborhood. If you are going to do long rides, I'd think you'd want to be able to have a lower profile which will let you get some weight off the saddle. Even with drop bars on it, it'd still look small to me.

When I watch pro tours, there are quite a few that ride bikes that look too small for them too. So who am I to say.

For certain, go by what your body is telling you. That's your number one incentive. If your body hates it then you won't ride as much.
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Old 05-10-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
The bike is om the small side but not that bad for a free bike. I think you are close. The saddle looks low as your leg has a bit more too much bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Try raising it an inch and at the same time move it aft also. Handle bar stems are not that costly so try one that is an inch longer. Then evaluate how the bike feels on your longest ride.
I ordered a 130mm stem! We'll see if that helps. I might get a 'REALLY" setback seatpost too (this seat is already all the way back on what looks like an offset seatpost). Then again, no harm in selling it and finding a used bike my size. Thanks for the advice.


Last edited by RobertJason75; 05-10-20 at 10:47 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 05-10-20, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertJason75 View Post
Thanks Edward and IRide. I was able to upload the photo. Now, looking at it I'm thinking this is beyond a handlebar and stem change. Maybe I'm wrong.
Your're not wrong. The bike is too small. A fairly simple thing to do is to put your measurements into a bike sizing website and see what comes out. Go by the top tube measurement in the output. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp

Then you'll have some numbers to compare this bike to and to use when you get a larger bike. Takes the guesswork out of it.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Your're not wrong. The bike is too small. A fairly simple thing to do is to put your measurements into a bike sizing website and see what comes out. Go by the top tube measurement in the output. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp

Then you'll have some numbers to compare this bike to and to use when you get a larger bike. Takes the guesswork out of it.

This Cross bike (pictured in the original post above) is a 21.6" eff top tube. The calculator you linked above puts me in 22.25" French Road Fit or 23.5" Mountain Bike eff top tube. Sizing must be a fine art because this 21.6" eff top tube cross bike feels a tad small and my old 24.8" eff top tube mountain bike felt a tad big.Three inches makes a BIG difference. I appreciate the link.
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Old 05-10-20, 03:37 PM
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From your size I would say a 56cm or possibly even a 58 cm would be about right.. A longer stem might help with this one, but you are certainly too upright for only shorter rides as already mentioned.
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Old 05-11-20, 05:23 AM
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Okay, $90 invested to make a very nice bike fit me. (1) Upgrading from a 100mm stem to 130mm; (2) moving from a slight setback seatpost to 35mm setback; (3) adding bar ends. I'll post a final pic of my posture in a week when all this is added to the bike. Whether it works or not, it's fun to try.

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Old 05-19-20, 07:56 PM
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Okay, here is the result.

#1 : original setup
#2 : raised the seat 1" and changed the stem from 100mm to 130mm (extended ~1"). Also angled it from up sloping to down sloping.
#3 : changed the seatpost from an offset to an 'even-more' offset seatpost (this only ended up extending it 1/2" since it already had an offset post)
* The trade-off with the setback ergopost is I can't lower the seat past the '0' mark and my leg might be too extended.

Visually and feel it just seems better. I will take it for a ride tonight and find out more. Thanks for the help.

Last edited by RobertJason75; 05-19-20 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 05-19-20, 08:08 PM
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And here are the two seatposts:

Last edited by RobertJason75; 05-19-20 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-19-20, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertJason75 View Post
Okay, here is the result.

#1 : original setup
#2 : raised the seat 1" and changed the stem from 100mm to 130mm (extended ~1"). Also angled it from up sloping to down sloping.
#3 : changed the seatpost from an offset to an 'even-more' offset seatpost (this only ended up extending it 1/2" since it already had an offset post)
* The trade-off with the setback ergopost is I can't lower the seat past the '0' mark and my leg might be too extended.

Visually and feel it just seems better. I will take it for a ride tonight and find out more. Thanks for the help.
In photo 3 it does look like your leg is too extended. I think knee bend in #2 looks better.
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Old 05-19-20, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
In photo 3 it does look like your leg is too extended. I think knee bend in #2 looks better.
Agree, When you move the saddle back it increases your leg extension and you have to compensate by lowering the saddle a bit,
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Old 05-19-20, 10:29 PM
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Unfortunately the saddle in #3 is at is lowest setting based on the markings. Any lower and I'd probably harm the carbon fiber. I am happy with #2 . My leg extension and knees over the crank are right for the #2 setup. It's still somewhat upright, but I feel it's about the best compromise for what it clearly a bike one size too small. The bar ends were a good addition for when I feel cramped and want to lean forward more. It's good enough for now. When I get some cash I'll probably look for a bigger frame on the used market.

I wanted it to work better. This bike just feels so light and fast and has X-9 shifters! I've never had a bike this high end or geometry. Coming from a Gary Fisher mountain bike and a Peugeot road bike, this was a good balance. I'm a fan of the Cross style. I'm going to stick with the #2 setup and will ride this for many months. This was a fun experiment and I learned a lot.
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Old 05-20-20, 04:11 PM
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When you're actually riding, I think you'll be more comfortable if you bend your elbows some. That will reduce stress, especially that cause by road or trail irregularities, on tour wirists, elbows, and shoulders.
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