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Fit questions

Old 11-09-09, 10:05 PM
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gee_
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Fit questions

Hey guys, totally new here so forgive me if my questions are stupid or too common. I wanted to get into cycling because I'm overweight and wanted a way to get exercise as well as get around the suburbs and such. I live on the 5th floor of an apartment building so I wanted something light. The guy at the bike store told me to get a single speed because I would use more strength to get up hills and such and it would be lighter due to the lack of parts. I was thrilled as this was exactly what I was looking for but I'm not totally sure if it fits correctly. When I stand over it, my crotch is pretty much sitting on top of the top tube. It's not uncomfortable but it is a bit awkward. I was wondering if this was a good fit (guy told me it was) as I really don't know anything technical about bikes. Is this common for road bikes and just something I need to grow accustomed to? And if it isn't a good fit, what should I do to make it fit better? Would it be better to just try to exchange or return it or just get smaller tires or something. I'm pretty sure the seat is as low as it will get.
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Old 11-09-09, 10:19 PM
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Standover height is not a good measure of bike fit. That said, typical bike sizes with typical average body proportions would tend to say that your bike probably fits you if you can just stand over the top tube.
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Old 11-10-09, 07:59 AM
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How many shops did you visit before you got this bike? I'm concerned that the salesperson automatically assumed that a SS would give you a better work out and that they didn't do a proper fit for you. The best workout will come from the bike you ride the most. At this point it doesn't have much to do with the drivetrain. If you ride the hell out of the SS, it will be awesome for you. If you don't ride because it's a pain in the ass to get up the hills, then think about selling it and getting something else. But thats getting ahead of the question.

You might want to call around to see if any shops in your area will do a basic fit (measuring your body to get the proper saddle height and saddle-handlebar reach) for $20-30. Usually shops that use the Body Scanning system will do it for about that price. Like they said above, standover doesn't have a whole lot to do with proper bike fit. Maybe check back with the shop you bought it from. Just because one salesperson didn't didn't really know what they were doing, it doesn't mean that the shop is bunk.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:19 AM
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But fit isn't about standing up. It's about how you are sitting on the bike when you are riding.

Google search bike fit videos, or just search in youtube. There are some great vidoes that give all the advice we can, but you can actually see what to do and what it should look like.

But what you describe about the bar being close to the family jewels sounds normal.

Maybe the guy in the bike shop looked at him and can tell by looking at his proportions and height the frame size.
I am 5'10" and can ride anything between a 54cm-58cm frame quite comfortably. Last time I walked into a shop, the guy said to me "You need a 56cm frame" which is my favourite size.

I think you have the right frame. It would take a real idiot or a-hole to put you on a frame that is really no good for you. Watch a video or two and learn about seat height/fore and aft postion (sliding it back and forward) and how far forward you like your bars (longer or shorter stem).
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Old 11-10-09, 08:30 AM
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If your crotch is on the top tube and the seat is as low at it will go the bike is simply too big for you. How tall are you?, what size bike were you sold?
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Old 11-10-09, 08:39 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by TimArchy View Post
The best workout will come from the bike you ride the most.
Well put!
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Old 11-10-09, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
If your crotch is on the top tube and the seat is as low at it will go the bike is simply too big for you. How tall are you?, what size bike were you sold?
He didn't mention how high his saddle is.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:45 AM
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gee_,

It is absolutely true that being professionally fitted at your local bike store (after this called LBS) is really the only way to nail down "your" numbers. That said, and package paranoia aside, how does the bike feel? Are you comfortable with the reach when you ride? If it feels a little too long or a little too short you can loosen the saddle with an allen wrench (look under the saddle) and push the seat fore or aft. Be sure the saddle is level when you tighten it back down. Don't be afraid to play with this fore-aft thing for awhile. It will pay for itself many times over in comfort. Is there a gentle bend to your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke? You don't want your knee locking out at the bottom nor do you want a heavy bend. You want a gentle bend. Most important is you do not want your knee locking out. Comfort is absolutely everything.

Don't worry at all about riding being too difficult. Take it easy. Once you get the bug (which won't take long), you'll be amazed at your progress. Take the bike everywhere. Going down the street for a pack of cigarettes? Go by bike. Need a few things at the grocery? Put on a backpack and go by bike.

Does it rain where you are at? Get full fenders right away. While you are there buy a lock. It doesn't have to be something that would hold back the Space Shuttle. Cable locks are probably the most convenient as you can just wrap them around the top tube. A combo lock makes life easy, too. I'm of course assuming you live in an area of low to reasonable theft. At first, making the bike a lifestyle will feel a little odd. But, give it 2 weeks. Make yourself do everything possible for just two weeks. You'll never turn back. Now, if despite your "stickum" you find riding to be difficult then you'll need a little easier gear. This is not an expensive proposition. Drop by the LBS you got the bike from and explain your problem. It is entirely possible they will do a cog swap (that's the rear gear) for free. If not, you'll probably need to drop about $20. But, don't be afraid to ask if they have a used cog. This is not bad manners. Although, your bike being brand new you won't want something that's been beat. Ask for something "in good shape". LBS's are by very design customer friendly. They live off of repeat business. That's what you will be - a repeat customer. Welcome to the fray - there's no leaving, now.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Brig View Post
Well put!
I don't think so. More like: "The best workout will come from a bike you are comfortable on."

I am sure he meant to imply that though.
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Old 11-10-09, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
If your crotch is on the top tube and the seat is as low at it will go the bike is simply too big for you. How tall are you?, what size bike were you sold?
Unless the bottom bracket is so low that the pedals slam the ground with every revolution, it is impossible to simultaneously be able to stand over the top tube as well as have the seat slammed all the way down assuming the saddle height is set correctly. Think about it
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Old 11-10-09, 09:02 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by oldfixguy View Post
how does the bike feel? Are you comfortable with the reach when you ride? If it feels a little too long or a little too short you can loosen the saddle with an allen wrench (look under the saddle) and push the seat fore or aft.
You don't adjust your reach with saddle positioning. Saddle positioning is for adjusting your weight distribution over the bike and your hip angle when pedalling. Reach should always be adjusted by stem selection
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Old 11-10-09, 09:35 AM
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Thus my initial point to check videos made by fit experts. And avoid the barrage of conflicting info that will dribble into this thread. We should have a standard resource for pointing all fit questions towards. It's not like we can fit anyone here. Watching videos gives the most info and makes it easy to understand because you can see what to do, and how to measure things. (knee over pedal axles using a plumb-bob for example)
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Old 11-10-09, 01:01 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by the_don View Post
I don't think so. More like: "The best workout will come from a bike you are comfortable on."

I am sure he meant to imply that though.
Only if having a comfortable bike implies that the bike will get ridden. Which is not necessarily so. The bike doesn't have to be the most comfortable to give you a good workout, though it does make getting in shape a lot more fun.
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Old 11-10-09, 01:30 PM
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KOPS is nonsense from a physiological perspective. You don't push down on the pedals directly against gravity, you push down on the pedals in a diagonal line parallel from the saddle to the bottom bracket. The fact that so much about physiology and bikes is now understood but that KOPS still gets thrown around is absurd
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Old 11-10-09, 01:59 PM
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http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 11-10-09, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
KOPS is nonsense from a physiological perspective. You don't push down on the pedals directly against gravity, you push down on the pedals in a diagonal line parallel from the saddle to the bottom bracket. The fact that so much about physiology and bikes is now understood but that KOPS still gets thrown around is absurd
So far you've posted in this thread four times without once providing actual, useful advice beyond "you're probably fine"--just a lot of "these people are way off, don't listen to them." Yeah, we know that KOPS isn't perfect, but it's a good start. It worked for thousands upon thousands of cyclists for several decades and you don't think it might get you close to a proper fit? There is never, ever, ever going to be a system for producing comfort--it's just too personal and nebulous. Thus, we do what we can with the system and then ride adjust ride adjust ride adjust.
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Old 11-10-09, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post
So far you've posted in this thread four times without once providing actual, useful advice beyond "you're probably fine"--just a lot of "these people are way off, don't listen to them." Yeah, we know that KOPS isn't perfect, but it's a good start. It worked for thousands upon thousands of cyclists for several decades and you don't think it might get you close to a proper fit? There is never, ever, ever going to be a system for producing comfort--it's just too personal and nebulous. Thus, we do what we can with the system and then ride adjust ride adjust ride adjust.
You don't think it's useful to point out when advice is bad and should be disregarded? That's weird, but whatever.


And no KOPS isn't a good start, it's an old wive's tale. Do you think the reason time trial bikes, mountain bikes and road bikes typically have vastly different seat tube angles is so that people with different body proportions can get their knees over the pedal spindle? "Hey dude, you've got pretty short femurs, you really should get a time trial bike or something with a 76+ STA so you can get your KOPS lined up well", the whole concept is so friggin bunk that it's impossible to understand how anyone who's given any thought to the matter can't see how wrong it is outright.

Your saddle fore/aft adjustment is to adjust 2 things; (1)your weight distribution on the bike, and (2)your hip angle for otpimal muscle engagement. It has absolutely nothing to do with how your knee lines up with an imaginary line drawn in space that has nothing to do with anything at all other than the earth's gravitational pull.


FYI - since you have trouble picking it out, I explained what your saddle adjustment on your bike is for. That's the "useful" component

Last edited by elTwitcho; 11-10-09 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-10-09, 04:02 PM
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The bike is comfortable to ride but it's hard to stop and start again. When I stop, I can't just stand, I have to get off the saddle (which is about 4 inches above the top tube) and it's a little difficult to get on the saddle from a stopped position. Other than that, I have no problems. I am 5'10" and the guy said the bike is for people between 5'6" and 5'10". Also, my mistake but the saddle could probably go down another inch or so.

Also, thank you all for the help, I really appreciated it!

Last edited by gee_; 11-10-09 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 11-10-09, 04:18 PM
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Gee it's probably just going to take time to get used to riding a road bike style frame if it's your first one. Try staying on the saddle and leaning the bike to the side you took your foot off the pedal. I usually step down off the saddle, and if it feels tight to you just lean the bike away from the side that still has the foot on the pedal
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Old 11-10-09, 05:28 PM
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Yeah, that is normal. Usually you have to jump off the saddle when you stop.
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Old 11-10-09, 06:22 PM
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then mount back up again like the 13 year old girl:
http://sheldonbrown.com/starting.html
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Old 11-10-09, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
You don't adjust your reach with saddle positioning. Saddle positioning is for adjusting your weight distribution over the bike and your hip angle when pedalling. Reach should always be adjusted by stem selection
El Twitcho,

I agree with you. However, given full circumstances I stand behind my suggestion. The individual is very new to cycling. Comfort is everything. Performance is not really in the picture at this point. It will be, but not yet. Comfort is what matters. To that end, saddle fore/aft/attitude adjustment is an absolutely appropriate way to maximize comfort. Getting him in a comfortable position and pushing a good gear are key.
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Old 11-16-09, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by preston811 View Post
then mount back up again like the 13 year old girl:
http://sheldonbrown.com/starting.html
this was actually the most helpful post in this thread! thanks a ton haha, I guess I really didn't really know how to ride a bike after all. Many thanks sir. After a few days of riding around knowing the above tid bit, I'm much more confident riding on the road.

Have another question! I thought the bike (09 schwinn cutter) came with a flip flop hub but I figured out it didn't. Now I'd like to buy one to put on it but I don't know what to look for as far as brands, size if that's applicable, etc. Anyone know of a specific flip flop hub I can buy to put on?

Last edited by gee_; 11-16-09 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-09, 12:03 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by gee_ View Post
Have another question! I thought the bike (09 schwinn cutter) came with a flip flop hub but I figured out it didn't. Now I'd like to buy one to put on it but I don't know what to look for as far as brands, size if that's applicable, etc. Anyone know of a specific flip flop hub I can buy to put on?
You sure about that? I've seen the Cutter with a flip/flop, though it's possible this is a different model. It doesn't have threading on both sides of the hub? Note many/most bikes with a flip-flop only come with a cog or freewheel on one side.
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Old 11-17-09, 04:28 PM
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I'm not sure if it is threaded on either side or not, what should I look for to see if it is deed a flip flop hub?
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