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toptube/stem reach question

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toptube/stem reach question

Old 07-07-05, 10:32 PM
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sparknote_s
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toptube/stem reach question

I calculated that with my new frame size and a 140mm stem, my bars will be a bit lower, and 2 inches forward. Is this enough to make a difference in my not-so-aero positioning shown here?

http://www.johnaschmidt.com/LeeBikeF...os/photo4.html

Of course it doesn't have to be that much change, it could be less. I just want to get your opinion if you think it will be ENOUGH. My goal is to get a more aero and flat back, for racing.
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Old 07-07-05, 10:48 PM
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I had a 120 stem on my bike and dropped to a 100. MUCH better handling...make sure that you are not giving up control, ESPECIALLY if you hope to race, just to have a more "aero" position.
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Old 07-07-05, 10:58 PM
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Ok, here we go...

First a few questions... and observations...

1. You will never get "flat backed" in that posistion. It is my observation that you need to either a. have your arms at 90 degrees (in a TT like posistion) in the hoods or b. In the drops, slight arm bend, to achieve your posistion.

2. What size stem are you running right now? If you need a 140 mm stem to achieve a "flat back" your bike is too small. I am running a 130 mm stem on a 63 cm and I need to go to 140 or even 150mm, but I have a fairly aero posistion now.

3. How does confortable rank on your scale of importance? For me it is about 3rd or 4th factor, posistion, power, etc are all infront in my setup. I have 6 inches of drop and I could go another 1/2 - 1 inch or so.

4. A 140 mm stem is going to change the handling somewhat of the bike, not necessarily ideal for crits, etc, expecially coming from a small stem.

5. Speaking of stem FLIP IT! , And try experimenting with height first by lowering and raising the bars. Go on a ride and see how it feels, aerodynamics is not everything, but also your trainer is not the true feel. On the trainer my reach seems a bit long, on the road it feels a little short.

6. Do the whole 90 degree elbow thing and see how you feel and also in the drops, then play with the stem length. You do not need to be super stretched out to find an aero posistion, but it all depends on how far you drop the bars, etc.

Try it, and see, then worry about the bars... I would just be a little conserned about going to a 140 mm stem unless you are on a 62 or 63 cm bike already.

EDIT... above poster beat me on a few things... a shorter stem is better handling sure! Agreed there (110 on the tt bike compared to 130 mm on the road bike)
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Old 07-07-05, 11:01 PM
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How do you feel / look like in the drops. Your reach doesn't look that short to me but you could deffinitely lower your bars.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 07-07-05, 11:24 PM
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Like I said though, I might not need a 140mm stem, but I just want to make sure that as worst case scenario, 140mm will be LONG enough, and I will not be limited in reach. Oh, and its a 100mm stem right now. My new frame is a half inch longer in top tube measurement as well, which I haven't built up yet, but will in a few days.

What say ye, flip stem and add on a few centimeters in length should be sufficient?
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Old 07-07-05, 11:42 PM
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I find that when the bars go down you need a little more reach, they are not exclusive. I would try a 120 mm and drop the bars a little. 140 mm is probably going to be WAY too much for what you are trying to do!
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Old 07-07-05, 11:52 PM
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Is a difference of 1.3 cm top tube length, 2 cm of stem length, and a flip of the stem going to make a big enough difference in position you think? I hope so...will have to wait a few days for all of my parts to arrive.
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Old 07-08-05, 12:52 AM
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I think it will make a difference, shoot, moving my seat up 1/2 cm this morning made quite a difference.
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Old 07-08-05, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I think it will make a difference, shoot, moving my seat up 1/2 cm this morning made quite a difference.
You got the 140mm stem huh?

P.S. You can move seat little bit higher now that seat is slightly more forward.
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Old 07-08-05, 07:12 AM
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You should try moving your saddle down and back in addition to flipping the stem.
This may help with the reach / rise question.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:21 AM
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Well I always hear to NOT move the saddle to adjust reach. We'll have to wait and see. Am I correct in that a 130mm will be fine in terms of handling? It will be less responsive, yes, but many use them.
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Old 07-08-05, 10:26 AM
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As the other poster mentioned, I'd start with flipping the stem. Absolutely, that's the first step, get a new baseline. And you are correct, saddle positioning is a function of being positioned correctly over the BB, which looks fairly good (it would be nice to see another pic of you with the stem flipped and your cranks in the 3:00-9:00 position).

My recommendation would be, flip the stem, get a new feel for how you feel in the drops/bars, and then go to a LBS (ideally during a time when they aren't super busy), tell them you're interested in getting a new stem, and ask them to do a a/b comparison on larger sizes. You'll also probably walk away with some valuable fitting advice.
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Old 07-08-05, 11:50 AM
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Is it just me or does his saddle look a touch high? Your legs seem pretty extended on the down stroke.
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Old 07-08-05, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s
Well I always hear to NOT move the saddle to adjust reach. We'll have to wait and see. Am I correct in that a 130mm will be fine in terms of handling? It will be less responsive, yes, but many use them.
Unless your saddle is too far forward to begin with. Don't fall for the Knee Over Pedal Spindle myth, too many people don't have their saddle fore/aft adjusted so they can make the most use of their glutes.

"Why do you have back pain? Because you're pedaling with your lower back muscles instead of your glutes because your saddle is too far forward."
"Why do your hands and shoulders hurt? Because your saddle isn't far back enough to balance your torso so you're resting your torso weight on your hands."

Check out Peter White's article... http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
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Old 07-08-05, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BlastRadius
Unless your saddle is too far forward to begin with. Don't fall for the Knee Over Pedal Spindle myth, too many people don't have their saddle fore/aft adjusted so they can make the most use of their glutes.

"Why do you have back pain? Because you're pedaling with your lower back muscles instead of your glutes because your saddle is too far forward."
"Why do your hands and shoulders hurt? Because your saddle isn't far back enough to balance your torso so you're resting your torso weight on your hands."

Check out Peter White's article... http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
I don't mean to hijack this post but I often have the same issues with lower back and shoulders. I'm a lot lower on my bike though the original post's set up is. I feel like my saddle is not far enough forward at times. Any comments on improvement of my set up?
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Old 07-08-05, 01:01 PM
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My knee is behind the pedal spindle currently...and my saddle height is fine, no pain or discomfort in that regard. Actually I think I moved it down a few mm since that pic.

But anyways, I got a new frame which is a bit longer in top tube (.5 inch). I need to buy a stem with it. 120 or 130 mm I'm thinking...not sure yet.
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Old 07-08-05, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nashville Man
I don't mean to hijack this post but I often have the same issues with lower back and shoulders. I'm a lot lower on my bike though the original post's set up is. I feel like my saddle is not far enough forward at times. Any comments on improvement of my set up?
How balanced are you when you get in the drops? Do you have a hard time holding your torso up while pedaling with a bit of tension?
If it's not too bad then it could be just building up more core strength or learning to relax your shoulders (i.e. not shrugging them).
*edit: and bend your elbows.

Last edited by BlastRadius; 07-08-05 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 07-08-05, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s
My knee is behind the pedal spindle currently...and my saddle height is fine, no pain or discomfort in that regard. Actually I think I moved it down a few mm since that pic.

But anyways, I got a new frame which is a bit longer in top tube (.5 inch). I need to buy a stem with it. 120 or 130 mm I'm thinking...not sure yet.
I'll say you could still lower your saddle down and back just a bit.
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Old 07-08-05, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BlastRadius
How balanced are you when you get in the drops? Do you have a hard time holding your torso up while pedaling with a bit of tension?
If it's not too bad then it could be just building up more core strength or learning to relax your shoulders (i.e. not shrugging them).
*edit: and bend your elbows.
Good idea. Thanks for the advice. I'll give that a try and see if it works.

I often find myself really griping the bars while seated on climbs and using a lot of upper body energy with no real benefit. I have to keep reminding myself to relax my hands and arms. I'm probably doing the same thing while in the drops and just don't realize it.
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Old 07-09-05, 09:01 AM
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From the looks of my fit pic, would you at least say (aside from stem/handlebars/seat position) that the FRAME is not too small in regards to top tube length? My new frame is only .5 inches longer in top tube. It's also traditional geometry.
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Old 07-09-05, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s
From the looks of my fit pic, would you at least say (aside from stem/handlebars/seat position) that the FRAME is not too small in regards to top tube length? My new frame is only .5 inches longer in top tube. It's also traditional geometry.

Well looking at your pictures again I also think that you could do with setting your seat back a little and when you combine that with a slightly larger frame you may not need as long a stem as you think. Putting your seat back should make it easier to adopt a lower handlebar position.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 07-09-05, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s
From the looks of my fit pic, would you at least say (aside from stem/handlebars/seat position) that the FRAME is not too small in regards to top tube length? My new frame is only .5 inches longer in top tube. It's also traditional geometry.
Is the bike in the pic your new frame? If not, the new frame plus flipping the stem would give you ~2cm more reach. Just be mindful of how balanced you are.
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Old 07-09-05, 04:12 PM
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No, the pic is not the new frame. And my new seatpost will be set back a small bit.
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