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Fitting my new bike, leg length and seat height issues.

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Fitting my new bike, leg length and seat height issues.

Old 06-27-20, 07:42 PM
  #1  
trainchaser
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Fitting my new bike, leg length and seat height issues.

I bought a new 2020 Trek FX1 Disc a month ago, I really wanted the FX3 Disc but they were sold out for the year due to the Coronavirus rush on bikes.
I've been having fit issues with the bike. I've played around with getting weight off of my arms as this was my first fit issue, did some research that suggested changing the fore and aft placement of the saddle and trying different saddle heights. I have a long torso and short legs, so I was surprised when I was having issues with proper leg extension. When I have the seat height at the "proper" height for my leg extension to the pedal I can't reach the ground without jumping off the seat each time. I've never had this issue with any other bike...
I checked the measurements for the last two bikes I had that fit really well and the bottom bracket was closer to the ground, I assume that could make a difference but never thought about that when looking around for a new bike...
Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions are always welcome.
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Old 06-27-20, 09:56 PM
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First things first: Your experience with the saddle to ground distance is normal. All modern bikes are like that. You're not supposed to be able to reach the ground with your foot while sitting on the saddle when your saddle is properly adjusted. When coming to a stop, you put one pedal down and put your weight on it. As you come to a stop, you slide forward off the saddle and put the other foot on the ground. The easiest way to restart is to lift the pedal with your toe to put it in the starting position, put your foot back on it and push down and off you go. Or you can dab with the foot that's on the ground to get going. It's even easier with clipless pedals. A little massed practice in a parking lot is a good idea.

For the other elements of getting the bike to fit you, here's my little guide: How can I fitting my bike
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Old 06-28-20, 09:54 AM
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Nice bike. I like the mechanical disc brake...No hydraulics' to deal with!

My 2018 bike is too high also to remain on the seat stopped. I often slide off the saddle and stand over the bar. This is why stand over height is very important and why I bought the small frame size, Which they recommended anyway.

The fore and aft seat position is not for extending reach (which I once thought). It is to get your knee over the pedal spindle with the pedals at 3 O'clock. As for relieving pressure on your wrists raise the handlebars up being careful not to go above the minimum insertion mark, Perhaps adjust the stem or handlebar angle if you can. You can purchase a longer stem if necessary.

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Old 07-11-20, 07:13 AM
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Since saddle height is based on leg length (inseam) and is independent of the bottom bracket height, it stands to reason that the saddle to ground distance would vary directly with bottom bracket height. Crank arm length makes a difference too. I agree with xroadcharlie that saddle position is determined by the relationship between your knee's center of rotation and the pedal spindle and shouldn't be used to to adjust "reach". I'm not absolutely sure but with your long torso and short legs, with a production bike, a frame size based on your leg length would have you in a more upright position and less weight being supported by your arms. Is your arm length proportional to your long torso? Perhaps a side-view photo of you on your bike with crank arms horizontal might reveal more than your description does and allow some "experts" to comment.
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Old 07-11-20, 09:45 AM
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If you put too much weight on your hands when riding, how strong is your core?

I came back to riding 7 years ago with a weak core, and I've worked my way all the way up to up to less weak. I can tell you that it's pretty cool to ride with no discernible weight on one's hands. It's a state of bliss I reach frequently enough to make me start the program to be able to do a plank for 5 minutes (fiveminuteplank.com)

I, too, have relatively longer torso/arms than leg length. I ride a bike with a 54 CM seat tube, 56 CM top tube, and 11 CM stem. It was manufactured in 1973. Today's bikes seem to be square, so you have to choose to get a bike that fits your legs or your torso/arms. I'd need a 13 CM stem with a square frame.

Some people argue that the effective TT length is the critical measurement for a bike. I've come down on the top tube in emergency stops, so I really like to have that 1" between me and the TT, but if I were buying a modern bike with a slanted TT, I think I might go for the longer ETT and just make sure I don't need to make any emergency stops. Fortunately, I don't need a modern bike.

Last edited by philbob57; 07-11-20 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 07-21-20, 03:29 PM
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generic: heel of foot on pedal (wearing heel block less bike shoes) leg straight

gives you a decent just a little bend in the knee extension when the ball of your foot is over the pedal axle.
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Old 07-21-20, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
If you put too much weight on your hands when riding, how strong is your core?
This exactly. This may sound backward but you could try lowering the bars, using a longer stem, or both to get the bars further away so your core does the work, not your arms.
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