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Old 11-17-03, 01:50 PM   #1
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Question: Bicycle fit:

While trying to resolve a an arm "reach" problem on my bike, I read in my copy of "Bicycling's Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" that (for a general guide line for stem length):
When you put the back end of your elbow on the most forward tip (nose) of your saddle the and extend your arm and hand the handle bars should be an inch from the tips of your fingers. If you race you'll be a little longer or if you like to ride more upright you'll be a little shorter.

I feel I am somewhat stretched reach-wise on my bike and when I tried this my fingertips were about 3.5 inches away from the bars.

Do any of you fall in the "one inch range" and if you don't about how far away from or close are you to handlebars, using the above described guideline?
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Old 11-17-03, 02:01 PM   #2
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my fixed bike (track in summer, hack in winter) gives about a 3 inch gap, it feels good - bit upright on the hoods if anything.

i wouldn't go setting your bike measurements in cubits though, just see what feels right
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Old 11-17-03, 03:18 PM   #3
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I agree with Whippet, ride whats comfortable.
3.5 inches seems a bit excessive to me unless you
are racing. I ride maybe 1.5 inches from fingertips,
took me a few stems to get there.
I'd suggest if you are feeling too stretched out dropping
stem length by 10 - 15 cm. Also raising stem (if you can
will result in an effective decrease in overall length).

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Old 11-18-03, 06:24 AM   #4
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using your arm is not a very good measuring tool, since overall reach depends on so many factors, torso, arm length, etc., but is somewhat a guide.

Assuming, that you have the same body geomtery as me, I think the 3.5" length is a bit too far.

On my roadbike, if I measure it using my arm, the handle bar is about 1.8"-2" from my fingertips, but since the hoods extend far a bit more its definitely more than 2".

On my MTB, it's exactly 1" (center).

If you aim to get a 1.5", you must decrease your stem by approx. 38.1mm. But be aware that it would make handling more difficult if you decrease the stem too much.
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