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Non-standard Body Type - Bike fit discussion

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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

Non-standard Body Type - Bike fit discussion

Old 04-27-16, 03:34 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs

...Short-torso people seem to be more comfortable on smaller frames with shorter top tubes and more exposed seat post---but ignore what I say, too, if it doesn't seem to fit you. Ultimately, you will ride the bike so you need to figure out what fits you.

This is my experience, too. I am pretty emphatic the about faults of the focus on height = bike size, rather than buying a size based on the rider's proportions, and I feel us long leg/short torso people often get especially bad fitting advice when it comes to top tube length.

I'm 5'9"+, and my first road bike was a 54. I was told over and over that this absolutely was my size by every single LBS salesperson I spoke to at a dozen stores, no question; pretty much every fit calculator (except for the ones the said I needed a 55) and most of the literature. When, after my first year of riding, I got the itch for a new bike, I really had my heart set on a Domane because of the roads around here and the terrible pavement. So I was at the bike store and sat on a 54 Domane, and it still just didn't feel right, not like I believed it should feel. So I asked the salesman if she had a 52, and she's all "but 54 is your size!" But as soon as I got on that 52, everything changed. My hands dropped right to the hoods, with what felt like the perfect arm extension, and it was as if the bike fit me like a glove. It was obvious that the bike was right for me, and that bike I had been riding (A Defy 1 M/L) was too large--as had been every bike I'd tried! No one *ever* thought to try me on a 52. It blows my mind. That sales girl took one look at me on the 52 and got this quizzical expression on her face and said "Huh. I guess 52 IS your size." She was baffled because she absolutely believed that at my height, 54 was the correct size for me.

So I bought a 52 Domane (after trying a few others bikes, of course) and the difference was unbelievable. I was immediately able to double, then triple my comfortable mileage in a matter of a few weeks. If I'd stayed with 54s, I don't know that I would love road biking as much as I do. I could never have done the mileage I now do in comfort with my body stretched out like a tanning hide.

Finally, when I went to get a fitting, the guy couldn't understand why I was on "such a small bike" until he saw me on it. He absolutely believed I need to be on a 54 or even a 56 because of my height!

tl:dr: long legged/short torso people need to focus on the top tube, and not be afraid of sizing down to get a good reach, no matter what your height might (traditionally) indicate.
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Old 04-28-16, 12:21 PM
  #27  
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Thanks, my bad, forgot one seatpost has 0 offset and the other is 25mm offset. Regardless, was not aware the above applied in all cases. Having not though about KOPS anymore than just ensuring i use it as a guide,ci kind of assumed different frames / proportions / setups and even riding style / saddle would affect seat position.
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