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What to do about an ill fitting NEW bike?

Old 03-03-08, 02:06 AM
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What to do about an ill fitting NEW bike?

OK, here's the deal. I JUST purchased a new bike from a shop. The fitter advised against the 48 cm because it was too small and said he would probably have me sign a waiver if i decided to purchase it because it would destroy my knees. He suggested the 51 and i took his advice, since he knows more than I do about these things. I did test ride both sizes, but it's hard to tell unless you're on a longer ride.

Long story short. I pick up the bike and he fits me to it (51) I ask again like 3 times if the 48 was definitely too small as I feel a little stretched out on the 51. He assures me everythign is dialed in and that all the angles etc are right. Well, guess what? IT STILL FEELS LONG IN THE TOP TUBE! By the way, this is AFTER we put an 80mm stem on there (even though he said the 90 was perfect)

So i took it home, rode it about 30 miles and still feel the same way. I asked a few ladies who have the same bike that are the same height and most were fitted on the 48.

So what do i do? I just dropped 2k on a bike that doesn't feel completely right. I am not trying to call the fitter out on an error or anything. I just want to be happy about spending that much money, but most importantly, I want to be COMFORTABLE.What would you do in this position? The bike is not even a week old yet. i picked it up last Wednesday. Also, i should mention it was an 07 model they had shipped here. The shop was really rad, and i'm not trying to bad talk anyone. I'm just kind of bummed out.

Details: I am 5'4" and the tt is 51.8cm, kinda long, right? here are some more numbers on my current fit:
knee angle 155
hip angle 110
shoulder angle 88.5
reach: 44.3cm
aero reach: 56.2

What would you do?
ride more hoping itll feel better?
sell it on ebay?
try to make some other adjustments (like what?) to somehow alleviate it (note i can't go any shorter on the stem)
say something to the shop? (though i would hate to do this)
any other suggestions?

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Old 03-03-08, 03:01 AM
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You spent 2k at the shop to buy a new bike. They should make it right. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it. The end.

Oh, and 80 mm would result in some crazy handling issues. no?
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Old 03-03-08, 04:33 AM
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which shop did you buy from?
so you have a 2cm variance between a 48 and 51 (-1cm for the shorter stem).
I don't understand how this could damage your knees in any way.

I really think you should go back and tell them this isn't working out. You felt the 48 was more comfortable but was talked into the 51, trusting their opinion. It didn't work so they need to swap the frame out or otherwise fit it properly.

Anyway, as much as you hate it, I think going back to the shop and resolving it is the best (and least expensive) approach. good luck.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:04 AM
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Is the bike this year's or last year's model? Twice I've looked at bikes that were remaining stock models left over from the previous year marked down in price. One salesman assured me his only remaining 54cm bike was perfect for my 6'0", 32" inseam height, and another salesman was certain his last 62cm bike would be a perfect fit for me. Unfortunately there are people who are more interested in clearing their inventory than fitting you correctly on your purchase. Hopefully that wasn't the case with you.

I'd definitely go back to the shop and voice my concerns. If they're a reputable shop and there aren't any "no return" contingencies on your purchase I would think they would exchange for the correct bike. Good luck!
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Old 03-03-08, 08:11 AM
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Did you have a good fitting road bike before? Have you been on a road bike that you were comfortable with? If so, you should try and duplicate that fit. Conventional wisdom doesn't work for everyone, some of us have odd fit issues, and some shops don't know how to deal with that.
I think if you have an 80mm stem and still feel too stretched out, the top tube is probably too long. Are the bars high enough?
I also think the shop should do whatever they need to so you are happy with it, even if that means a different frame or fork. Don't feel guilty, it's your money and your comfort.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:11 AM
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Take it back to the shop. They need to make it right. The whole point of buying a new bike from a shop (as opposed to online) is so that issues like this need to get handled.

I also don't see how a 48cm would destroy your needs. You would just need a longer seatpost.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by gr@sshopper
You spent 2k at the shop to buy a new bike. They should make it right. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it. The end.
+1.

Take it back, do it soon. If you approach the bike shop dude like you approached this thread ("Look, I'm not talking smack, you guys rock, but I'm just not comfortable on this bike,") there should be no reason for either you to feel guilty or the shop to feel bad about it.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:15 AM
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I agree with all posters...you must take it back and have them fix it. If they are the least bit reputable, they should. I got talked into a smaller frame when I bought a women's specific bike, but it worked out for me and I love the fit. Had it not, I would have been back in there demanding they fix it too as much of a pain it is to deal with. Sorry you have to deal with it!
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Old 03-03-08, 09:37 AM
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Yep, take it back and get the right frame before you start putting wear on the one you got. They might even be able to order a frame and swap all the parts. I know other people that's happened to and the shop fixed it when they went back with it, especially if you're nice about it and have the approach you used in this thread (as mentioned above).

My other recommendation would be to bring someone along who is a decent bike fitter and have them tweak your position around. Unless the person at the shop is a well known fitter you can't necessarily trust their fit.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gr@sshopper
Oh, and 80 mm would result in some crazy handling issues. no?
No.
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Old 03-03-08, 10:51 AM
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thanks for the input.

I think I will call atoday. Should I ask to speak to the manager, dude who sold me the bike, or dude who fit me?

Also, you guys don't think it'll be a problem that it was an 07 model they had shipped from Specialized?
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Old 03-03-08, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
No.
+1

I run a 60mm stem on one bike. No handling issues.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink
Also, you guys don't think it'll be a problem that it was an 07 model they had shipped from Specialized?
Maybe. But I don't think that's *your* problem. I think that's something the bike shop is going to have to deal with on the back end. You're the customer and you were sold a bike that is not comfortable for you, even after voicing your concerns about it. They need to fix that.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink
thanks for the input.

I think I will call atoday. Should I ask to speak to the manager, dude who sold me the bike, or dude who fit me?

Also, you guys don't think it'll be a problem that it was an 07 model they had shipped from Specialized?
No- it shouldn't really matter. When it happened to my friend it was a small frame (a 46) that they shipped from the regional distributor, put all the parts on, and sent her home with. The sent a 49 instead, and when she swapped it they just dealt with it.

They deal with this kind of thing all the time, and the loss anyone is going to take on it is probably minimal, mostly just the time it takes to take care of things.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bitingduck
No- it shouldn't really matter. When it happened to my friend it was a small frame (a 46) that they shipped from the regional distributor, put all the parts on, and sent her home with. The sent a 49 instead, and when she swapped it they just dealt with it.

They deal with this kind of thing all the time, and the loss anyone is going to take on it is probably minimal, mostly just the time it takes to take care of things.
I got my bike because the shop ordered a frame that was too big for someone else.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink
Should I ask to speak to the manager, dude who sold me the bike, or dude who fit me?
Your choice, but if I were doing it, I probably would give the salesperson a chance to make it right before going over his head. But don't hesitate to go to the manager if you are not satisfied.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:31 PM
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well that's the odd thing.

one dude was my salesperson and another dude was my fitter, who suggested the size.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:45 PM
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Take it back and plainly tell them THEY messed up and you need the next size down. period.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:58 PM
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Just a guess here, but I don't think the fitter will have authority to take the bike back, but the salesperson will. He is the one responsible for your satisfaction.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:03 PM
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im just going to call the manager, i think he's the man that can get the job done, i don't think the salesperson will be able to make an exchange? the fitter was also a salesperson, he actually found the bike for me.

it's just all too confusing and frustrating.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gr@sshopper
You spent 2k at the shop to buy a new bike. They should make it right. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it. The end.

Oh, and 80 mm would result in some crazy handling issues. no?
Not really, but it would indicate that she would of been fine on the 48.

General rule of thumb, when riding seated and in the drops the hub on the front wheel should be hidden by the bars. If the hub is on the seat side then the stem may be too long, if the hub is seen in front then the stem may be too short.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:09 PM
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bike fitting can be subjective. however, no matter how you look at it, you voiced your concerns many times during the fitting and it sounds like he basically ignored you.

however, i will say that my fit has essentially changed over the past couple of seasons. the same bike that used to feel so stretched out on me feels just right now. just something to keep in mind (not to try to sway you or anything).
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Old 03-03-08, 06:14 PM
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Sounds like you know about bikes and know best but sometimes it takes a while to get use to a new ftting or different size bike. My thought at 5'4" that 51 is probably your size. The 48 is probably too small (unless your upper body is very short). If you are unhappy with the handling or feel, I would take it back and ask for adjustments. Maybe some fine tuning is required. I would ask the fitter about his choices and why he made them. After talking it through you may find he was right. I remember the first time i got sized on my bike and I thought the guy was crazy. I was so uncomfortable but I kept riding and now I can't imagine going back to the old way. Before I was very upright now I am very laid out and love it. In fact I wish now I had gotten the bigger bike (I chose the 51 over a 53 that the fitter recommended). Have you at least ridden the bike for a month? If not, I would give it some more time. It would be worst if you got a too small bike and then after riding realize it's too small. Hard to make a small bike work. Alittle bigger is easier.

BTW I have a 80 mm stem on my bike (to accomodate my weird ergo carbon handlebars) and I have no handling problems.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink
im just going to call the manager, i think he's the man that can get the job done, i don't think the salesperson will be able to make an exchange? the fitter was also a salesperson, he actually found the bike for me.

it's just all too confusing and frustrating.
I hear ya, lady. But I'll admit that a good fit is so important. You get through this and get the bike you want, you'll love it and ride it, and that's all that matters. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 03-03-08, 06:17 PM
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What everyone said, additionally I vote for a 50 frame.
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