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question about comfort

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question about comfort

Old 07-01-02, 06:07 PM
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question about comfort and stem upgrade

When i bought my road bike i didnt realize that it was only a 53cm bike that i was buying when i ride a 56cm bike. I am 5'10.5 I am now starting to feel it a little bit in my arms as it is more compact than it should be. To compensate for this should i get a longer stem and wider handlebars or will this still not help the situation. I really dont want to have to go out any buy a new frame. Right now my legs are ok as I have the seatpost up. Any suggestions would help. If i have to change the stem, i have a quill threaded stem. If i change them what brand do i change to. If i cant really change anything do i need a new frame? Does anyone else here ride smaller frames than they should. Does this pose a physical health risk or anything. What are the advantages and disadvantages.

Last edited by WorldIRC; 07-01-02 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 07-01-02, 06:30 PM
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IMO one clear indicator that a frame is too small is that you can't get the saddle back far enough. Can you achieve the knee-over-pedal-spindle position? (Crank at 90-degrees forward, feet on pedals; drop a plumb line from just underneath the pointy protrusion on the forward knee; plumb line should intersect pedal spindle.)

Some people do fine with more forward positions, or even prefer them for sprinting, but the frame should be big enough to at least allow you to get the saddle into this position.

With the saddle height correct and the saddle fore/aft position correct, you should be able to pretty much bend forward at the hips with your arms comfortably extended, elbows slightly bent, and hit the hoods with your hands, assuming a normal amount of saddle-to-bar drop (a couple of inches, more or less). If you miss by no more than 20mm in either direction (assuming a stem with about 100mm extension to begin with) then a new stem is an easy fix.

The bar width doesn't enter into it, unless it feels too narrow now. Bars too wide create problems of their own.

If the frame is close, it might be worth making minor changes to get it to fit. If it's much too small, though, it's a losing proposition. My opinion: if you have to start searching for rare parts -- super-long stems or seatposts with maximum setback -- just to avoid pain, forget it.

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Old 07-01-02, 06:52 PM
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someone care to translate lol
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Old 07-01-02, 08:37 PM
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OKay, I will try. You will usually need someone to help you with this. Sit on your bike so you can hold yourself upright (I do this by putting the bike in a doorway.) Sit on the saddle the way you normally do, and clip your feet onto your pedals, or put your feet on the pedals the way you would if you were riding. Now pedal backwards a few times, and stop with the crank arms parallel to the ground. Have your assistant hold a weighted string on the bone that sticks out right under your kneecap. The string should be at or near the axle of the pedal. You notice I say "should" because the more I read about bike fit, the more I find that there are no hard and fast rules for fit. We are each different, and need to fit the bike for our comfort and to maximize the power that we can generate. Some prefer the string a little more forward, and some a little more back, you will just have to experiment to see what works for you. They make seat posts with offsets so if you knee is really far forward, you can get a little more adjustment to the rear as needed.

Personally, I prefer my bars to be level with my saddle. I like the extra comfort this gives, and it makes riding in the drops easier, too.

I am within about one half inch of your height, and my first road bike was a 53 cm, and it worked for me. My Paramount is a 56, and I have it dialed in to fit me, also.

Hope this has helped! Good luck, and enjoy the bike!
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Old 07-01-02, 08:52 PM
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oh right now my legs feel fine on the bike. i just feel that my arms are a little to crunched. i have ridden a 56cm and my back was also a little more bent. right now my back is not as arched and it dont feel right. so what im asking is if longer stem will help. also my arms feel slightly squeezed together so will wider bars help. i believe my shoulders are 43cm apart and my bars are 40cm. to compensate should i get 42 or 44cm bars
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Old 07-01-02, 11:55 PM
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Hi Brian,

Yes, you can try 42 or 44 cm bars. You can also try a longer stem. Performance has a quill stem in lengths of 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 cm for about $26. If you want to be more stretched out, measure the stem you have (center of steerer to center of handlebars). If your stem is less than 13cm, then you could get a longer one and this would stretch you out more.

Getting a new stem or new bars will require you to unwrap and rewrap the bars.

You can also try moving your seat back and/or lowering the stem in relation to the seat. This you can do without having to buy anything or rewrap the bars.

I'd try fiddling with the seat first. And then try lowering the stem. If you feel like that's not going to do it, then I'd look into getting a longer stem. I think you'd notice a different stem length.

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-02, 12:00 AM
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PS I ride a frame that's smaller than I "should" for my height. I'm 6 feet tall and I ride a 56cm. However, I prefer not to be too stretched out horizontally. I like my seat forward so that I'm over the pedals. I have a 9 cm quill stem and could probably use an 11 or 12, but I'm comfortable with my current setup. I have the bars abourt two inches below the level of the seat.
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Old 07-02-02, 07:52 AM
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Sheesh, talk about riding a bike thats too small...


I ride my dad's old 22 year old Huffy bicycle he got when my parents got married. Its way too small for me. When I pedal, I have to worry that my knees don't knock the shifters which are located on the front of the stem. Oh man, if I just got a bike thats a little bit bigger, my back would'nt hurt nearly as much as it does now when I ride.
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Old 07-02-02, 08:01 AM
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Brian,

I have a 130mm Modolo Xtera stem that is way too
long for me. You can have it if you want.
Send me PM or e-mail with address and I ship it
off.

Marty
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Old 07-02-02, 10:40 AM
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The saddle position of the smaller frame will normally be further back , because smaller frames usually have more relaxed seat-tubes . The relative amount of seat-tube and seat-post are not important.

You need to set your saddle in relation to your pedals first. Do not jig around with the saddle to make your arms fit the bars.
Once you have a good saddle position, you need to set your bars at the right height and reach using a stem. A smaller frame will enable you to set your bars lower, which is useful for fast time-trialling, but not so useful for longer rides. You are right in considering bar width as well. Standard practice is to fit them to the width of the shoulder joint (centre of the ball and socket joint).

If the bike is too small, then it is difficult to make it fit well and handle well. You may need a stem that is 2cm longer and 3cm higher, but before you trial out some bars, draw a graph comparing the geometries of the 2 frames. Use the bottom bracket as the origin and work out the x and y position of the points of contact you need. You need to fix the xy position of the top of the seatpost ,the top of the head-tube and the end of the stem.
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Old 07-02-02, 10:57 AM
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thnk god i passed math lol
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Old 07-02-02, 09:47 PM
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So, in other words... your feet, your hands/arms and your tush are the only three relative positions that matter? Reguardless of the bike size? I know I didn't ask the origonal question but I was gonna,, honest I was.
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Old 07-02-02, 09:56 PM
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yah and basically before you add a seatpost and stem its how far apart is everything when urr on the frame
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