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Setting up my custom LHT - still not comfortable

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Setting up my custom LHT - still not comfortable

Old 04-22-20, 04:37 AM
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DrSnuggles
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Setting up my custom LHT - still not comfortable

I am a male of 181 cm, normal build with legs on the long side. I have a problem

Short background: During 2008-2012 I toured Europe and Asia on my Marin Muirwoods 26" bike with stock components (a cheap WTB mtb saddle) except for a BBB trekking bar. I cycled approximately 14 000 km, without any reflection on bike fit. I adjusted the saddle height a few times and at some point I switched to a really long stem, I can't remember why but it was probably arbitrary.

Long story short: I had no problems, just cycled on.

In 2012, I crashed and the rear part of the frame was severly damaged. Given that I understood that I would keep on cycling for a foreseeable future, I decided to invest in something more fancy. I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame (size 56) and put together a bike using old and new components. I also invested money in a Brooks B17 (the standard model).

After another 8000 km of touring and commuting (the pace was reduced due to studies and life...) during 2012-2020, I still do not feel comfortable with the bike.

The main problem: I keep sliding/falling forward on the saddle. When pedalling with low intensity/pressure, I am unable to release pressure from my arms and wrists without sliding/falling forward and eventually either sitting on the very nose of the saddle of falling off completely. I am able to sit completely upright, hands along the sides, and pedal. The sensation of being "on the move forward" is still there, but I do not fall.

I have done the following:
  • Elaborated with different saddles. For a few years, my main idea was that the B17 was a poor fit and went back to my cheap WTB saddle. However, it worked mainly because I was then able to sit on the front part of the saddle (softer, the B17 is hard). It should be said that the B17 has been used for about 4000 km's and is thus properly "broken in".
  • Elaborated with virtually all settings possible on the bike. The saddle has been at the far back position on the rails, in the middle, at the far front, higher/lower, pointing up or down, the stem has been long/short, the handlebar has been in all possible heights and angles, and so on. Several of the combinations of settings have been quite OK, but I have always ended up pedalling harder even when not needed, in order to keep myself positioned at the correct place on the saddle.
  • I would like to stress the previous point again: I have tried to find the correct fore/aft position and understand the KOPS model and so on and so forth. The most favourable results have been found when the saddle is slided all the way back on the rails, but it never completely got rid of the problem. The only thing that consistently "helped" has been to have the saddle slided really far back, quite a bit lower than optimal, and be sitting on the tip of the saddle (imagine sitting on the tip of a B17... but it has actually been OK in periods).
  • Measured myself and the bike in absurdum, using online resources to find the correct settings.
After getting home from a cycling trip in Asia that was cancelled prematurely due to corona, I have decided to go to the bottom with this problem, as it has been annoying me for almost eight years.

So, basically I have two questions:
  1. Should it be possible to release pressure from hands/wrist without falling/sliding forward on the saddle when pedalling with low intensity/pressure, or am I chasing after something that is not feasible? Is it all in my head, should I just keep on pedalling harder and go faster?
  2. What could possibly be the problem? Is the bike too small?
Any input would be most welcome - solve my problem and I'll be forever grateful!

I tried to attach a picture of my latest settings, but Bikeforums did not allow me to do so before having 10 posts.

Last edited by DrSnuggles; 04-22-20 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 04-22-20, 04:40 AM
  #2  
DrSnuggles
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Here's a picture of my bike (add dropbox . com before the url, Bikeforums prohibits me from posting links or pictures!)
/s/ixwiebkkztnienq/bike.jpg?dl=0
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Old 04-22-20, 05:10 AM
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My (Brooks Copy) Gyes saddle has the nose pointing to the sky like a wolf howling at the moon. Otherwise I slide off. My testicles generally come to some arrangement where they step aside and let the nose take priority. But I have a Troll, the Jones bars are higher and closer than yours relative to the seat, so I can get away with that. It makes me ride with a more sitting up stance, If I need aero I go for the front loop of the bars.
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Old 04-22-20, 05:27 AM
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I have been riding my LHT with a B17 fór f number of years and doing long multi month tours. Had the same sliding forward situation. I had to gradually increase the saddle angle to find that "sweet spot". Am glad I have a Thompson Seatpost as it makes micro adjustments easy.
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Old 04-22-20, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
My (Brooks Copy) Gyes saddle has the nose pointing to the sky like a wolf howling at the moon. Otherwise I slide off. My testicles generally come to some arrangement where they step aside and let the nose take priority. But I have a Troll, the Jones bars are higher and closer than yours relative to the seat, so I can get away with that. It makes me ride with a more sitting up stance, If I need aero I go for the front loop of the bars.
Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
I have been riding my LHT with a B17 fór f number of years and doing long multi month tours. Had the same sliding forward situation. I had to gradually increase the saddle angle to find that "sweet spot". Am glad I have a Thompson Seatpost as it makes micro adjustments easy.
Thanks a lot. I have tried tilting the saddle as much as the seatpost allows, a couple of degrees more than the picture I posted. I keep falling off, albeit to a lower degree (less 'push' required with my arms or legs). But even if I would find a position where I would not slip off; can it really be the case that my butt-geometry requires me to have the saddle tilted to the moon, regardless of saddle? I have tried a few different types, all ending up with the same result. I keep falling off, as if my natural position is to ride on the nose of the saddle.
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Old 04-22-20, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DrSnuggles View Post
I am a male of 181 cm, normal build with legs on the long side. I have a problem

Short background: During 2008-2012 I toured Europe and Asia on my Marin Muirwoods 26" bike with stock components (a cheap WTB mtb saddle) except for a BBB trekking bar. I cycled approximately 14 000 km, without any reflection on bike fit. I adjusted the saddle height a few times and at some point I switched to a really long stem, I can't remember why but it was probably arbitrary.

Long story short: I had no problems, just cycled on.

In 2012, I crashed and the rear part of the frame was severly damaged. Given that I understood that I would keep on cycling for a foreseeable future, I decided to invest in something more fancy. I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame (size 56) and put together a bike using old and new components. I also invested money in a Brooks B17 (the standard model).

After another 8000 km of touring and commuting (the pace was reduced due to studies and life...) during 2012-2020, I still do not feel comfortable with the bike.

The main problem: I keep sliding/falling forward on the saddle. When pedalling with low intensity/pressure, I am unable to release pressure from my arms and wrists without sliding/falling forward and eventually either sitting on the very nose of the saddle of falling off completely. I am able to sit completely upright, hands along the sides, and pedal. The sensation of being "on the move forward" is still there, but I do not fall.

I have done the following:
  • Elaborated with different saddles. For a few years, my main idea was that the B17 was a poor fit and went back to my cheap WTB saddle. However, it worked mainly because I was then able to sit on the front part of the saddle (softer, the B17 is hard). It should be said that the B17 has been used for about 4000 km's and is thus properly "broken in".
  • Elaborated with virtually all settings possible on the bike. The saddle has been at the far back position on the rails, in the middle, at the far front, higher/lower, pointing up or down, the stem has been long/short, the handlebar has been in all possible heights and angles, and so on. Several of the combinations of settings have been quite OK, but I have always ended up pedalling harder even when not needed, in order to keep myself positioned at the correct place on the saddle.
  • I would like to stress the previous point again: I have tried to find the correct fore/aft position and understand the KOPS model and so on and so forth. The most favourable results have been found when the saddle is slided all the way back on the rails, but it never completely got rid of the problem. The only thing that consistently "helped" has been to have the saddle slided really far back, quite a bit lower than optimal, and be sitting on the tip of the saddle (imagine sitting on the tip of a B17... but it has actually been OK in periods).
  • Measured myself and the bike in absurdum, using online resources to find the correct settings.
After getting home from a cycling trip in Asia that was cancelled prematurely due to corona, I have decided to go to the bottom with this problem, as it has been annoying me for almost eight years.

So, basically I have two questions:
  1. Should it be possible to release pressure from hands/wrist without falling/sliding forward on the saddle when pedalling with low intensity/pressure, or am I chasing after something that is not feasible? Is it all in my head, should I just keep on pedalling harder and go faster?
  2. What could possibly be the problem? Is the bike too small?
Any input would be most welcome - solve my problem and I'll be forever grateful!

I tried to attach a picture of my latest settings, but Bikeforums did not allow me to do so before having 10 posts.
Dr Snuggles...I think you may want to go to a bike shop that does bicycle fit. If they're any good at what they do they should be able to help you with the saddle fit.

I can give you my opinion but it's only that; you'll get lots of opinions from everyone here and they all may be right to some extent. If you can get to a shop they can usually find out what the problem is and knowing a good place to go for help wherever you live is really a good thing. I think this might solve your issues and you can always go back if what they suggest doesn't work for you. They may be able to diagnose your bike kit and see that something doesn't fit that's not related to your saddle, ie, maybe it's the bike not fitting you properly or it could be the style of bike. If you had no problems with your previous bike then the Surly that you have could be the problem. Just my two cents.
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Old 04-22-20, 07:13 AM
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Hows your handlebar position?
B17 is designed with a position in mind that has the handlebars equal to or higher than the top of the saddle if memory serves.
Sorry I can neither see a pic nor follow your link
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Old 04-22-20, 07:50 AM
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your LHT has trekking bars on it, (for others who cant see the photo) so here is a screenshot of the photo

First of all, we need to address the rather serious issue that you must stop leaning your bike against your house or fence after you have freshly painted them! ;-)
(take a close look at bike to see what I mean)

now to your issue.
All I can say is that you clearly have the seat tilted slightly up, which can help with this issue. I have a bike with almost an identical setup, B17 and trekking bars at similar height in relation to seat. I also find that this bike causes some hand weight issues--BUT....here is my take on it---this is always the case on any bike if we pedal very easily.
Sure, bar position in terms of height and reach from saddle will play a part, and probably is a factor with this bike vs your other bike.
Only suggestion is to change teh stem to one that raises the bars at least a few cms and see how it helps.
My bike is an old bike with the older style stems, so not easy to change as I would have to entirely unwrap my bars to remove the bars from the stem, and then find an old style stem that is more angled up, and given that this is a commuter bike, I dont ride it for that long periods at a time, so I dont bother to make the change.

as proof about my point about pedalling easy always results in what you are describing, if I ride with someone who is a much slower rider than I am, my hands and bum always are sore, because light pedalling puts more pressure there. When we pedal at our comfortable stronger action, this takes a load off the bum and hands.

so my suggestion is to do the easiest and cheapest change, play with different stems and therefore handlebar position further up and maybe further back...but maybe just higher would help.
Looking at the photo closely and the stem, it would be easy to find a stem that angles up a lot more, your stem is fairly level, but you may have to try different lengths to see what works better, as length and angle both change the final position of the bars. I recommend trying to hold stems against your bike as it is now, to try to visualize the change, and also taking accurate measurements now as the bike is, to really measure the changes with diff stems.
A good bike store should be able to allow you to play with many stems at their store. And many stems are reasonably priced, so you can always buy a few if unsure.

also, Ive experimented a lot with my trekking bars for the angle they are at. Mine are more angled down than yours, as I find it creates more pressure on my hands when they are angled up like yours.
Also the padding on the bars and padded gloves can make a difference.

so certainly there are lots of factors that come into play

Oh, also look at photos of the old bike to compare handlebar position.
Oh, and also, maybe you are getting older and weaker (joke, but with a kernal of truth) and so a higher handlebar setting would simply be better for you now.

Also, riding a bike with heavy panniers on it automatically requires more force, more leg pressure, so less weight on hands and bum automatically. If you feel what you are describing only when riding unloaded, and maybe when you are in less good shape, it increases the problem--but I suspect that while this last paragraph may hold some truth, probably you simply need to bring the bars higher and or maybe closer. LHT frames are known to have longer toptubes than other bikes in the same size range. My Surly Troll is like this, and when I set it up for dropbars, the longer toptube meant that I set the bars up with a really short stem, much shorter than on other bikes I own with a similar range of frame size, in my case, medium.
I also see that your bars and stem are already at the highest position of the fork steerer, so you can't go higher than that, so a stem change is the only option, but very doable given how your stem angle looks, pretty straight.

good luck
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Old 04-22-20, 08:02 AM
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Second the recommendation for a professional bike fit.

I was thinking of suggesting a shorter stem until you noted you're most comfortable with the seat slid back as far as possible. Also thought of a two-bolt seatpost, until seeing the picture with your saddle nose is significantly up.

So my conclusion is that there's something goofy going on. You can spend another 8-10 years guessing what to do next and playing around with adjustments and part changes, or you can get someone who can probably look at you for five minutes (maybe an hour) and fix things for you. Your choice. (My choice would be to fix it and go ride for years...)
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Old 04-22-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
your LHT has trekking bars on it, (for others who cant see the photo) so here is a screenshot of the photo

First of all, we need to address the rather serious issue that you must stop leaning your bike against your house or fence after you have freshly painted them! ;-)
(take a close look at bike to see what I mean)
Hahaha! That's actually Dior Nail polish, an emergency repair of a quite serious damage of the coating inflicted on a public transport in India a few years back (courtesy of a lovely hotel owner). The plan was to fix it properly when I got back home, with some proper black paint, but I never came around to do it and the nail polish is just excellent in order to protect the metal from corroding.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
now to your issue.
All I can say is that you clearly have the seat tilted slightly up, which can help with this issue. I have a bike with almost an identical setup, B17 and trekking bars at similar height in relation to seat. I also find that this bike causes some hand weight issues--BUT....here is my take on it---this is always the case on any bike if we pedal very easily.
Sure, bar position in terms of height and reach from saddle will play a part, and probably is a factor with this bike vs your other bike.
Only suggestion is to change teh stem to one that raises the bars at least a few cms and see how it helps.
My bike is an old bike with the older style stems, so not easy to change as I would have to entirely unwrap my bars to remove the bars from the stem, and then find an old style stem that is more angled up, and given that this is a commuter bike, I dont ride it for that long periods at a time, so I dont bother to make the change.

as proof about my point about pedalling easy always results in what you are describing, if I ride with someone who is a much slower rider than I am, my hands and bum always are sore, because light pedalling puts more pressure there. When we pedal at our comfortable stronger action, this takes a load off the bum and hands.

so my suggestion is to do the easiest and cheapest change, play with different stems and therefore handlebar position further up and maybe further back...but maybe just higher would help.
Looking at the photo closely and the stem, it would be easy to find a stem that angles up a lot more, your stem is fairly level, but you may have to try different lengths to see what works better, as length and angle both change the final position of the bars. I recommend trying to hold stems against your bike as it is now, to try to visualize the change, and also taking accurate measurements now as the bike is, to really measure the changes with diff stems.
A good bike store should be able to allow you to play with many stems at their store. And many stems are reasonably priced, so you can always buy a few if unsure.

also, Ive experimented a lot with my trekking bars for the angle they are at. Mine are more angled down than yours, as I find it creates more pressure on my hands when they are angled up like yours.
Also the padding on the bars and padded gloves can make a difference.

so certainly there are lots of factors that come into play

Oh, also look at photos of the old bike to compare handlebar position.
Oh, and also, maybe you are getting older and weaker (joke, but with a kernal of truth) and so a higher handlebar setting would simply be better for you now.

Also, riding a bike with heavy panniers on it automatically requires more force, more leg pressure, so less weight on hands and bum automatically. If you feel what you are describing only when riding unloaded, and maybe when you are in less good shape, it increases the problem--but I suspect that while this last paragraph may hold some truth, probably you simply need to bring the bars higher and or maybe closer. LHT frames are known to have longer toptubes than other bikes in the same size range. My Surly Troll is like this, and when I set it up for dropbars, the longer toptube meant that I set the bars up with a really short stem, much shorter than on other bikes I own with a similar range of frame size, in my case, medium.
I also see that your bars and stem are already at the highest position of the fork steerer, so you can't go higher than that, so a stem change is the only option, but very doable given how your stem angle looks, pretty straight.

good luck
Thanks a lot, there are several things here that I have not really thought about. I am indeed getting older, weaker, and I have been cycling with my wife who rides significantly slower than I do. At the same time, I am still quite fit, to be honest... I was alluring to the fact that I might be chasing the impossible, and one of the objectives with this post was to hear your reflections on the possibility of ever reaching the feeling from my youth, the one of "just cycling on" without any feeling of sliding forward whatsoever. While my legs are fit for fight, my core strength is a weak spot. At the same time, however, I haven't been able to accept that I would have to fall all the way to the tip of the saddle, and beyond, if I do not keep pushing with my arms when pedalling lightly.

I will try to elaborate a bit more with the stems. I have a shorter stem laying around somewhere, but when I last tried it the handlebar was at a much lower position. I will try again, thanks a lot for the tip.

When comparing with my old bike (trust me, I have really went through the photo archives and tried to replicate the set-up), the tube is actually quite a lot shorter (the old bike was probably "too big") and the stem is shorter. The handlebar is (in the current setting, as in the picture) much higher than on my old bike, especially in the "front" (on the old bike, I had the trekking bar more or less flat to the ground at a dm or more below the saddle). While my starting position was an attempt to replicate my old setting, the handlebars have been moving up and closer over the years, resulting in a much more pleasant position (especially given the above points).

When it comes to bike shops, see below...


Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Second the recommendation for a professional bike fit.

I was thinking of suggesting a shorter stem until you noted you're most comfortable with the seat slid back as far as possible. Also thought of a two-bolt seatpost, until seeing the picture with your saddle nose is significantly up.

So my conclusion is that there's something goofy going on. You can spend another 8-10 years guessing what to do next and playing around with adjustments and part changes, or you can get someone who can probably look at you for five minutes (maybe an hour) and fix things for you. Your choice. (My choice would be to fix it and go ride for years...)
The bike shops here in the part of Sweden where I live are all about road bikes and, to be honest, they are not that knowledgable. I have been to several and asked for advice, but it never sold it. A few years back, I even paid for a bike fit. They set it up, it felt OK in the store, I took it out for a 100 km ride and kept falling forward when I stopped pushing.

To be honest, it might be a psychological thing (see above).
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Old 04-22-20, 09:07 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by DrSnuggles View Post
  1. Should it be possible to release pressure from hands/wrist without falling/sliding forward on the saddle when pedalling with low intensity/pressure, or am I chasing after something that is not feasible? Is it all in my head, should I just keep on pedalling harder and go faster?
  2. What could possibly be the problem? Is the bike too small?
.
reread all of your points, and it really seems that your only solution is to get the bars physically higher. Not angled higher, but a stem change so that the bars are a couple of cm's higher overall.
Basically, for efficient cycling, bar height/seat position/bar reach is ideal so that when we are pedalling at our comfortable all day long power output ( ie not low intensity low pressure) then we get that nice balance of pressures on the three contact points--feet, bum, hands

bikes that are sold for city riding by people who toodle along slowly have bars that are very high and back, so the riders sit up and have hardly any hand pressure-but way more bum pressure, but they are occasional riders who go along slowly

this position is going to be less efficient for when riding more strongly, like we usually do touring or if you are an average rider who doesnt ride like a grandfather or grandmother. The "sitting up" position is not great for wind, and when our body is leaning forward more, it helps with getting that nice balance of pressures on the three contact points.

but you'd be surprised how little or small changes can make all the difference. A centimeter here or two can make a huge difference in comfort. Heck, with bike seats, very small changes can and do make a huge difference in bum and private parts comfort, all serious cyclists know this.

look at your bar height in relation to the seat. When I ride my trekking bars, I prefer to have my hands on the part of the bars facing forward, just near the "flats" part where the brake levers are, with my hands positioned very similar to being on the hoods of dropbars , ie palms facing inwards.
On your bike, this position of where I would mostly ride on your bike is about the same height as the seat--so if you can get this position up a few cms, it could change everythng.

but again, lets be honest, soft pedalling and soft resistance is always hard on the body, there is just no getting around that---unless you get those bars a lot higher.

this photo is my wifes bike. I set her trekking bars up rather high, probably 3 or 4cms easily higher than your, and this works for her.
Now for me this would be too high, but who cares, she rides fine on it and doesnt have real hand or neck issues, so it works, plain and simple.
Get the bars higher, or accept that soft pedalling is always going to be a compromise.

Oh, and it looks like your steerer may have been cut down a bit at some point, which if true is a shame cuz you cant make it longer. Either way, your only way to get teh bars physically higher is with a steep stem, and given that you have your seat all the way back on the rails already, you can safely have your bars more forward a bit if a steep but longer stem does this, as you could safely mover your seat a bit forward to compensate if you need this. (ie, you will not have your seat all the way forward, which generally is not good for the knees, as you know mentioning the KOPs thing.)
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Old 04-22-20, 09:21 AM
  #12  
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Obviously, the bike is too SMALL. Should have been 58 at least. If you buy another frame, try a 60 first.
As is, the bars are below the saddle. That will surely make you fall forward.
Why so many LHTs look like this is beyond me. Get a shorter stem, NOT a smaller/ lower frame.
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Old 04-22-20, 09:22 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by DrSnuggles View Post
Hahaha! That's actually Dior Nail polish, an emergency repair of a quite serious damage of the coating inflicted on a public transport in India a few years back (courtesy of a lovely hotel owner). The plan was to fix it properly when I got back home, with some proper black paint, but I never came around to do it and the nail polish is just excellent in order to protect the metal from corroding.

Thanks a lot, there are several things here that I have not really thought about. I am indeed getting older, weaker, and I have been cycling with my wife who rides significantly slower than I do. At the same time, I am still quite fit, to be honest... I was alluring to the fact that I might be chasing the impossible, and one of the objectives with this post was to hear your reflections on the possibility of ever reaching the feeling from my youth, the one of "just cycling on" without any feeling of sliding forward whatsoever. While my legs are fit for fight, my core strength is a weak spot. At the same time, however, I haven't been able to accept that I would have to fall all the way to the tip of the saddle, and beyond, if I do not keep pushing with my arms when pedalling lightly.

I will try to elaborate a bit more with the stems. I have a shorter stem laying around somewhere, but when I last tried it the handlebar was at a much lower position. I will try again, thanks a lot for the tip.

When comparing with my old bike (trust me, I have really went through the photo archives and tried to replicate the set-up), the tube is actually quite a lot shorter (the old bike was probably "too big") and the stem is shorter. The handlebar is (in the current setting, as in the picture) much higher than on my old bike, especially in the "front" (on the old bike, I had the trekking bar more or less flat to the ground at a dm or more below the saddle). While my starting position was an attempt to replicate my old setting, the handlebars have been moving up and closer over the years, resulting in a much more pleasant position (especially given the above points).

When it comes to bike shops, see below...

The bike shops here in the part of Sweden where I live are all about road bikes and, to be honest, they are not that knowledgable. I have been to several and asked for advice, but it never sold it. A few years back, I even paid for a bike fit. They set it up, it felt OK in the store, I took it out for a 100 km ride and kept falling forward when I stopped pushing.

To be honest, it might be a psychological thing (see above).
I hadnt seen this before I wrote the other new stuff.
First of all, ha ha on the nail polish. I have an old bike that I did the same touch up repair with nail polish, but I at least bought some clear stuff! And yes, all these years later, like 25, it is still holding up perfectly and no rust!
Secondly, my guess was that you were from somewhere in Scandinavia and so I was right! (house design and trees were my clues)

here in Canada, I was riding all winter, and started riding with my wife recently, and naturally she has been slower because she hasnt been riding, but is improving naturally the more she rides. So until just the other day doing a ride, Ive been going at her pace, and my hands and bum were always sore, so this really does come into play.

re core strength, we certaiinly do get stronger core the more we ride, and about getting older, there is a great saying that I like--"the older we get, our bars get higher and our gearing gets lower"

certainly true with me, Im in my mid late 50s, and I notice it--but thats ok, make adjustments to your bike so that you are comfortable, so that you keep riding, thats the main thing.
I hope you were not offended by my "older and weaker " comment, it wasnt meant to be mean spirited.

and yes, re bike stores, here also, the majority of bike stores have young strong employees, so their focus on bike fit tends to be more in a "racing" mode, but a good employee should be able to adjust expecttations for touring speed and rider age etc--but no matter what others say, if your body says "X" feeling, make changes to make things more comfortable.

I hope my wifes bike photo shows a good example of higher bars. She can still ride perfectly well when she gets into riding shape, so its not a real disadvantage, and she loves this bike and is comfortable on it, so great.
cheers from Kanada
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Old 04-22-20, 09:26 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Obviously, the bike is too SMALL. Should have been 58 at least. If you buy another frame, try a 60 first.
As is the bars are below the saddle. That will surely make you fall forward.
Why so many LHTs look like this is beyond me. Get a shorter stem, NOT a smaller/ lower frame.
you are saying two different things here that contradict each other. If a frame is too small, then you dont want a shorter stem do you?

re frame size, I am about this fellows height , a bit under 180cm, and I ride a medium Troll. Very diff frame shape, but at least inthe ballpark

and his stem is not long at all, so very easy to put a longer one on that also angles up a lot to bring the bars up a bunch
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Old 04-22-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Obviously, the bike is too SMALL. Should have been 58 at least. If you buy another frame, try a 60 first.
As is the bars are below the saddle. That will surely make you fall forward.
Why so many LHTs look like this is beyond me. Get a shorter stem, NOT a smaller/ lower frame.
Sorry, a 60 cm frame would have been way too large for a 5'11" male as most will fit nicely on a 56 LHT because of the longer than average top tube. A 58 cm frame would be adequate only for those that are built like apes, meaning their upper torso is much longer relative to their leg length (which he claims is not his case) or those that really like to be laid out long and flat over the top tube (which I sincerely doubt is the case here since he is using trekking bars and not drops). The amount of seat post showing appears to be quite adequate. My suggestion when we would fit people at the shop is as you have done, seat to the furthest back position AND compensating with a shorter stem, along sometimes with a shorter more high rise stem. What is your stem length now ?
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Old 04-22-20, 09:56 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by DrSnuggles View Post
. . The only thing that consistently "helped" has been to have the saddle slided really far back, quite a bit lower than optimal, and be sitting on the tip of the saddle (imagine sitting on the tip of a B17... but it has actually been OK in periods).
What you need is a "set-back" seat post to compensate for the short rails of the B17.
I bought a 31mm set-back post and it moved the entire seat backwards. Solved my problem with the same feeling you described.
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Old 04-22-20, 10:23 AM
  #17  
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I'm 5'8". Never rode drops or a Surly. Standing over a 56, I had proper clearance. I hate small fitting bikes.
I have always ridden 58s, like my current 1973 CCM 3 sp is. It has a 59 cm TT and 70 mm stem, with 70d sweptback bars and long grips. No problem riding all day on the highway.
My custom has a curved up TT, with about a 56 ST. It is 61 cm TT + 76mm stem with 13d rise. Same HB setup. I have been raising the bars over an inch lately. They have about an inch of seat post showing, with a spring Brooks.

Since his paint is crappy anyway, I would get the 58 frame. Probably still needs a riser stem.
But then I sure wouldn't want the new thru axle nonsense. I guess Surly doesn't do this yet.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 04-23-20 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-22-20, 11:27 AM
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on the internet, everyone has an opinion, but I think we should at least be realistic about the actual costs of trying out things.

boomhauer, your suggestion could help, but it doesnt address the bar height, which may or may not be an issue. And a good seatpost is still probably in the 50, 75, 100 dollar range, whereas trying some stems in a store is easy to do and around here in Canada, stems can be had for maybe 25 or 30 canadian dollars

gamblergords suggestion of just going out and buying a new frame is not insignificant in terms of cost, last time I looked into framesets from them for a Troll, we're talking something like $750 cad or thereabouts, and I'm not convinced a larger frame is needed at all--and again, possibly a stem change could take of the issue for changing two parameters--the bars height and distance from saddle.

I certainly don't know if my ideas are right, but at least am trying to realistic about some easy, inexpensive ways to try diff things out.
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Old 04-22-20, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
I have always ridden 58s,
Numerical frame sizing is almost totally irrelevant in this day and age. One frame sized 58 might fit you fine, but with another bike it might be too small or too large. Nothing is standardized like it once was. You're using a very short stem of 70 and swept back bars to compensate for the longer than average effective top tube, most likely to obtain a head tube long enough as you like sitting more upright. Believe me, most people that came in the shop at 5'8" would far more likely fit a 54 Surly LHT than a 58.
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Old 04-22-20, 12:43 PM
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Robow needs to go look at C+V bikes. The stems mostly had NO neck on roadster bikes, so they fit like 40 or 50 mm. My dad's antique SS Rudge was like this, a pleasure to ride. My CCM actually came with one about 45.
100 mm stems are an absolute FARCE on anything but a CF RACE bike. They are to mate with short frames.
Having 3" of spacers is NOT a solution to a POOR fit. The diff for Surly between a TT on a 56 and 58 is less than 11 mm anyway. All you are doing is making yourself reach DOWN 20 mm.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 04-23-20 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 04-22-20, 12:46 PM
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And since we're tossing around numbers that are totally meaningless, the stem lengths that we are considering are totally dependent upon the bar set up. A case in point is the Surly LHT that I built up for myself years ago. I wanted to using trekking bars and so I had to make use of a very long stem to get them out there (I'm thinking it was a 130mm stem) and when I later converted the bike to drop bars, I had to change my stem all the way back to an 80 for me not to feel too stretched out and keep my hands in at a similar distance.

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Old 04-22-20, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
What you need is a "set-back" seat post to compensate for the short rails of the B17.
I bought a 31mm set-back post and it moved the entire seat backwards. Solved my problem with the same feeling you described.
This is where I'd start, Brooks seats typically need set-back posts to be in the correct position IME.
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Old 04-22-20, 01:58 PM
  #23  
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I bought some black nail polish to touch up the chaffing on my black racks. You could look for a bottle of that.
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Old 04-22-20, 02:10 PM
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Sounds like OP has the same issue I had. Of course while the symptoms match to a T the cause might be different. However since saddle adjustments haven't done anything to rectify the issue I'll assume the issue is the same I had

Ie, pelvic instability with a rear seated saddle.

Sadly the only real cure for it it to get a saddle that addresses the issue directly and allows for the rider to adopt a more forward leaning position. Good examples of these are the ISM, Cobb, Selle SMP, Specialized romin, power, etc. All of which are somewhat pear shaped which allows for a more forward pelvic bone contact with the saddle.

In the end I had two ISM's (both great but too soft what the what ISM), two specialized saddles (romin and power, nice if you look past the knife edges present on both saddles). Finally I've arrived to two Selle SMP's both of which are in use. Vulkor for general use and Dynamic for MTB.

The effect of a stable pelvis is so massive that I've stopped thinking about saddle height, stack or reach. I do sometimes adjust saddle height to suit the season (shoes have varying sole thicknesses) but my setback adjustment is middle of rails of a moderate setback seatpost or a straight one. Stem length is the stem that happens to be on the bike and same with stack. For contrast I used to have everything mapped by the millimeter. Almost carried a goniometer on tour.

I'm on my phone so I won't write the whole thing but in short trying to forcibly hold one's pelvis up on a saddle that requires an upright pelvic posture (brooks) will in fact pull the pelvis forward on the saddle. On top of that there is no stability at the main hinge (pelvis) so all of the upper body weight will be carried by the hands.

Most fit issues are not saddle issues. But some are 100% saddle issues.
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Old 04-22-20, 02:14 PM
  #25  
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re the stem. I just looked at my commuter, and the existing stem that I used after putting on the trekking bars is also rather long, probably a 120 or maybe 130 also.
Maybe I was wrong at looking at his photo of his bike about the stem length, Dr S how long is your stem?
You can see in my photos that my bikes bars are a bit higher than the seat level, although they are not angled up like his.
Also you can see the acute angle of my stem, which I think in Dr S's situation, he could replace his with one at least as long (or longer like a 130 or whtever,) AND have a much steeper angle than his existing one, which would put the bars much higher than they are now.

and then theres the setback seatpost idea too to get the seat back more if needed. Probably could fine one used or something if they are very expensive, especially if not certain of the results.

ps, Ive been meaning to take my bar tape off and put some more cushiony stuff on, which would probably help me a bit--it looks cushiony but it is not.

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