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Nice Article on the Right Fit Without Tape Measurements

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Nice Article on the Right Fit Without Tape Measurements

Old 07-01-15, 08:30 PM
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Inpd
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Nice Article on the Right Fit Without Tape Measurements

So in-between my morning job working for bikes-direct and my afternoon job of lamenting and justifying buying a bikes-direct bike (because the same posters have accused me of doing both ...) I found this very nice article on fitting.

How to Fit a Bicycle

I like it a lot because it doesn't involve plumb-bobs, tape measures etc but gives you advise on what a good fit feels like.

The part of seat fore-aft saddle position is great. The tests he outlines there are quite handy.
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Old 07-01-15, 08:49 PM
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I like Plumb Bobs :-). The one I use is one my dad made in machine shop class in the 1950's.
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Old 07-01-15, 09:52 PM
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So, how does your bike fit?
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Old 07-01-15, 10:34 PM
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That article by Peter White has been around a long time. I always refer people to it whenever I reply to their fit questions.

It is a great resource.

Thank you Peter White.
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Old 07-02-15, 05:46 AM
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Inpd, White's advice is excellent for self-fitting a first bicycle. Nevertheless it doesn't make sense to go through that trial-and-error process over and over again for multiple bikes or when switching to a new bike you are going to use for the same purpose.

Once you have a satisfactory fit (by any means), the easiest way to duplicate it is with measurements of the bike (not your body anymore) that can be transferred from one bike to another. And the easiest way to get those measurements both accurately and precisely is to use the floor and a wall as reference points. First you set up the bike with the rear wheel (fully inflated) touching the wall and the bike perpendicular to the wall and vertical to the floor...as much as possible. A trainer stand can help with this.

Then you take six measurements, two for each of the three contact points. They are the vertical distance of the bottom bracket, saddle top, and handlebar top to the floor and the horizontal distance from the bottom bracket, saddle front tip, and rear of the handlebar. By difference you use these measurements to calculate the distances vertically and horizontally between the saddle and the BB, saddle and the handlebar, and BB and the handlebar. Those are your contact point constants and will work on any bike that you want to ride the same way as the reference bike.

One final thing to do is to make sure the brifters are in the same relation to the bar tops on every bike. Done and done.
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Old 07-02-15, 07:21 AM
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Peter White has good advice and no doubt many riders have been helped by his article. But, on the chance that any reader here is confused by his comments about balance in the section "The Fore-Aft Saddle position", even though he's wrong in his reasoning his method still works.
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Old 07-02-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Peter White has good advice and no doubt many riders have been helped by his article. But, on the chance that any reader here is confused by his comments about balance in the section "The Fore-Aft Saddle position", even though he's wrong in his reasoning his method still works.
Would you mind explaining why you think his reasoning is wrong?

From what I understand, this balance method to find setback is useful because it takes into account fitness, flexibility, intended ride intensity and duration. I guess it's hard to fine tune unless you have a turbo trainer.
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Old 07-02-15, 09:46 AM
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Robert,
This seems to presume that riders would want the exact same body position whether riding a race, endurance, touring, TT etc. bike?
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Old 07-02-15, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by lwrncc View Post
Would you mind explaining why you think his reasoning is wrong?

From what I understand, this balance method to find setback is useful because it takes into account fitness, flexibility, intended ride intensity and duration. I guess it's hard to fine tune unless you have a turbo trainer.
I agree with this.

What is confusing:

When standing straight your head, hands, seat and feet are all fairly close to being in line with each other. Now bend over at the waist. Notice that not only has your head moved to a position ahead of your feet, but your rear end has moved behind your feet. If this were not the case, you would fall forward. Your seat moves back when you bend at the waist to keep you in balance.
and

If a bicycle had the saddle directly over the cranks, you wouldn't be able to lean your body forward without supporting the weight of your torso with your arms. Because the saddle on a typical bicycle is behind the cranks, your seat is positioned behind your feet and your body can be in balance.
All of which would be true and applicable if and only if, you don't sit on the saddle! To someone with a literal and analytical frame of mind, when moving the seat back and forward the static weight distribution in the torso is dependent on two points: the saddle and the bars. Not the saddle and the pedals.

It can have the effects he promises, but because of the input in core muscles at different angles and by how much he leans forward. So someone who is familiar with basic leverage might be inclined to dismiss his advice.
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Old 07-02-15, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
So in-between my morning job working for bikes-direct and my afternoon job of lamenting and justifying buying a bikes-direct bike (because the same posters have accused me of doing both ...) I found this very nice article on fitting.

How to Fit a Bicycle

I like it a lot because it doesn't involve plumb-bobs, tape measures etc but gives you advise on what a good fit feels like.

The part of seat fore-aft saddle position is great. The tests he outlines there are quite handy.
But the first thing he says to do is measure yourself from top of femur to floor with socks on, and get a crank that is 18.5% of length.

GH
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Old 07-02-15, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
But the first thing he says to do is measure yourself from top of femur to floor with socks on, and get a crank that is 18.5% of length.

GH
Yeah, I noticed that too. No measurement bike fitting method?
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Old 07-02-15, 01:13 PM
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Always love seeing his opinion on super lightweight race wheels like Open Pro's.
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Old 07-02-15, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Yeah, I noticed that too. No measurement bike fitting method?
To be fair, he said that he hadn't found any specific, credible information about the crank length and that it generally comes down to taller person = longer crank. The 18.5% thing was just a default better-than-nothing guide that amounts to get a standard length crank.
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Old 07-02-15, 01:21 PM
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I generally ride 172.5 cranks, mostly because bikes in my size come with that stock. But I had a fixed gear in the past and has 165 on that to minimize pedal strike and honestly I could not tell the difference. My saddle is adjusted on the different bikes so I have proper leg extension in proportion to the cranks.
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Old 07-03-15, 08:37 AM
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I tried his advice and it helps with comfort tremendously but two things came up:

Firstly, I can get a very comfortable (i.e. no unduly strong pressure) whilst on the hoods but when in the drops I get quite a bit of pressure up front which I can alleviate by sliding back in the saddle. Is that what your supposed to do?

Secondly, no article I read actually says where your sit bones are supposed to be on the saddle. Should they as far back on the saddle as possible whilst still being on the saddle?

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-15, 08:43 AM
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You should be able to use the whole saddle. Sometimes up on the rivet (front), sometimes on the back, sometimes in the middle. Your butt will tell you when to move around.
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Old 07-03-15, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
Always love seeing his opinion on super lightweight race wheels like Open Pro's.
Yes, but that opinion, while arguable, is certainly obsolete. Open Pros haven't been considered either super lightweight or a race wheel for decades. I suspect he doesn't have much use for what has replaced them either though. He has gaboons of knowledge and experience but can be somewhat of a retro-grouch.
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