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..lets talk bike fitting-long torso, short legs

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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.

..lets talk bike fitting-long torso, short legs

Old 12-03-20, 03:03 PM
  #1  
rajbcpa
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..lets talk bike fitting-long torso, short legs

I was born with a very long torso and a very short pair of legs....

Golf equipment and bikes have been hard to fit me.

I can fit on a frame that is 52cm and the balls of my feet just touch the ground..... however, when I ride, the length of the bike feels too short.

Can I buy a few extra-long handlebar stems, or a few seat post that allows the seats to go way, way back?

thx...
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Old 12-03-20, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rajbcpa View Post
I can fit on a frame that is 52cm and the balls of my feet just touch the ground..... however, when I ride, the length of the bike feels too short.
first, what do you mean by this? are you talking about standover? if so, that's irrelevant to the frame size. focus on what sizing geometry suits you when you are RIDING the bike. if a bike that fits you well when you're riding it has dangerously high standover, look for a bike with a more sloping top tube. do NOT buy a bike based on standover.

what kind of riding are you doing? commuting, touring, racing, fast road riding? you need to provide more details about your goals.

regarding seated reach, you should not adjust this by moving the saddle. the saddle should be positioned to optimize pedaling efficiency and comfort by balancing your body over the cranks. the best way to achieve this is to get on a bike that is about the right size for you and adjust the saddle height and fore/aft position until it just feels right. there are formulas and obtuse ways to shortcut getting yourself close to the right position, but trial and error are the best way in the end. if you're willing to pay a fitter, they'll probably use a giant angle-finder to figure out what saddle position optimizes where your knees move during your pedal stroke, but listen to your body for the final answer.

once you have a saddle position, you need to figure out where to put your handlebar in relation to the saddle, and in relation to the cranks. most people ignore this second part, but I find it to be important because I don't glue my butt to the saddle 100% of the time. you should adjust the handlebar position by moving the stem around or using different stems. there's no shortcut for this. most road bikes use something like a 80–120mm stem. if you have to use something much longer or much shorter than that, there's a good chance that you have the wrong size frame, but lots of people have to use unusually long/ short stems for various reasons, so do what you need to do. unless you have truly mutant proportions, I would think the bike should look like a bike when you're done.

one thing to consider: look for a bike that is designed for someone your overall height, but has a long "reach" and effective top tube for it's size. there is no standard for sizing bikes, so the same rider who fits on a 54cm from manufacturer A might need a 56 or a 52 from manufacturer B.
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Old 12-03-20, 03:29 PM
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When I'm in my saddle the balls of my feet can just barely touch the ground too. That's pretty much desired, or at least for a road bike it is, perhaps some road bikers can't even do that. Regardless, there isn't anything about the size of you and your bike that we can relate to how well the bike is sized for you based on that information.

Sure you can buy either a longer stem or a seat post with more setback. But the two things affect other aspects of your bike fit. Such as where are your knees in relation to the BB. You can also get handlebars that change up how much reach you do or don't have.

Bike fit isn't a one and done thing. It evolves over time with your cycling fitness. Also the type of riding you do makes a difference.
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Old 12-03-20, 03:50 PM
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rajbcpa : If it were me I'd start by finding a good, independent professional fitter... but if you want to experiment on your own I'd definitely start with the stem. Adding more setback to the seatpost can cause hip impingement and/or knee pain if you go too far. Also, just change one thing at a time so you can track the impact of your adjustments (positive or negative). Good luck!
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Old 12-03-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rajbcpa View Post
I was born with a very long torso and a very short pair of legs....

Golf equipment and bikes have been hard to fit me.

I can fit on a frame that is 52cm and the balls of my feet just touch the ground..... however, when I ride, the length of the bike feels too short.

Can I buy a few extra-long handlebar stems, or a few seat post that allows the seats to go way, way back?

thx...

I have a similar issue. (I'm about 5'9" or so, but with 29" inseam. It is a familial Keltic trait.) I wound up getting a custom steel frame, and subsequently observed the frame dimensions were nearly identical to a Trek Domane 54.

My problem is that I need a sloping top tube and significant stack. I have a 53 steel 1987 Bianchi with a horizontal top tube and it is too small, except for the stand-over height.

So I would suggest looking at Bikes like Trek Domane, and comparing that fit to others. (Trek's website tells me I entered a mistake when I input my inseam.)
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Old 12-03-20, 07:31 PM
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another point to note: when we talk about fitting a bicycle and inseam, be sure you're understand the difference between "pants size" inseam and "pelvis height" inseam. the standover height listed for a bicycle only needs to be a little shorter than your anatomical inseam to be "safe".
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Old 12-05-20, 12:52 PM
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This actually isn't complicated. First, find out what frame dimensions will fit you. Use a fit calculator, this one: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp
Have someone help you take your measurements.
When you get your numbers, use the effective top tube measurement to pick your frame size. Ignore the manufacturer's frame size number, which is based on seat tube length. You don't care about that: saddle go up and down a long way, but stems can vary only a little in length. You do not adjust reach by moving the saddle. That's adjusted for balance. We adjust reach with stem length.

You can find all the frame size measurements for most manufacturers online. When fitting the bike to yourself, you can use my bike fitting primer: How can I fitting my bike
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Old 12-05-20, 05:36 PM
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Its a racing bike but look up Carpdiemracing and that Tsunami frame. Getting a custom make alu frame to suit your proportions might be a good idea.

The BMC URS 1x gravel bike would most likely have the frame reach you'd require. You'd have to look at the standover though. Possibly even put on a longer (non? URS) stem, if possible, for longer reach.

https://www.facebook.com/beachbastardsshop/ This shop in the Netherlands sells the Wikkit Q-bomb (and other models) alu dropbar frameset. Technically a beach racing frameset (clears a big 700c) but they can be built up as 2x.
Those frame have a very long reach. Seat tube length (frame standover) may be low enough on certain sizes.

Wikkit Turbo frame build https://wikkit.nl/modellen/wikkit-tu...te-strandfiets

Another idea would be to look around for fairly modern mtb frameset to build up with a dropbar. The design trend from the last few years has been long-reach in combo with short stem. Could be something out there with a lower (closer to roadbike style) bottom bracket position, and a low enough frame standover. Steep seat tube angle to suit your leg length.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 12-05-20 at 05:53 PM. Reason: txt
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