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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:24 am 
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Posts: 18
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
DMF wrote:
Please, please stop spreading the "short stems make for twitchy handling" myth. A shorter stem will make a bike more twitchy, a short stem on its own won't make a bike more twitchy. And re: what a frame is designed for, the same frame fits different people diffidently, again with the body weight distribution between front and rear wheel axles which differs a lot rider to rider. Bikes are sold with 110mm stems out of aesthetic reasons.


Thank you for the info on stem length. For me personally, I feel that the move to a 70mm stem has effected my handling in some way. Perhaps a better word to describe the effect of the shorter stem would be "snappy," I'm not sure. But regardless, I have personally not preferred the change. I've gone back and forth between sizes over the past year and in some situations the shorter stem feels more responsive than I would like it to be compared to the longer stems.

My primary issue at the moment is that I have a frame that, while perfectly fine in regards to seat tube and head tube length, is causing me issues when it comes to top tube and reach, resulting in having to set it to uncommon degrees to compensate.
I'd like to change to a smaller geometry that only requires me to compensate with a longer seatpost, leaving me open to better options in regards to stems and setbacks.


Camilo wrote:
If you have long legs, I'm kind of surprised you have a zero setback seat post unless all of that length is in the lower legs as opposed to the femurs. I have longish legs and have found that in general I need quite a bit more setback than many riders with more normal proportions. Surely your fitter and you didn't use a zero setback seatpost to get you further forward because the top tube's too long? As opposed to using saddle setback as the way to get your proper position over the pedals? Just hypothesizing here.


The zero setback post was something I switched to in effort to shorten the reach without much regard to it's effects on my legs. I would like to move back to a setback post.

Thanks for the advice on WSD. Going through lists of frame geometries I actually did come across a few that would work.


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Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:24 am 


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:23 am
Posts: 372
Moving to a zero set back post to change reach is generally a poor idea. Find the proper seat position (height/fore/aft) then determine reach with a combo of frame size, stem size, bar reach, and lever position.

Moving your saddle forward with the zero setback post put more weight onto your hands which could be a really bad thing.


Out of curiosity, any pictures of your fit on the bike?


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:31 pm
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Quote:
My primary issue at the moment is that I have a frame that, while perfectly fine in regards to seat tube and head tube length, is causing me issues when it comes to top tube and reach, resulting in having to set it to uncommon degrees to compensate.
I'd like to change to a smaller geometry that only requires me to compensate with a longer seatpost, leaving me open to better options in regards to stems and setbacks.


If you like a longer head tube, then you'd go for a WSD in that style of bike. For example, the Felt Z has a tall head tube, and they make a ZW. I think Specialized (and I'm sure others) have WSD versions of their frames with taller head tubes

Unless you have the maximum (generally ~40mm) of spacers under your stem, you really don't need that tall of a head tube. Keep that in mind. Long head tube + short spacer stack = Normal head tube + tall spacer stack. PLUS, you can get a high rise stem if that's what you need to get a frame to fit. It's not "pro" looking, but a perfectly acceptable fit option. The pertinent measurement is the saddle/bar drop and there's more than one way to achieve it.

[edit] just looked at the photos linked in your OP - and scrolled down to look at current set up. You're NOWHERE NEAR justifying the need for a tall head tube!! You have your stem at minimum height fercrissake! Based on that photo alone, I can't imagine the head tube is a problem. That, and based on your dimensions, you should simply be looking for a smaller frame (say a "52" rather than a "54" - but looking at the top tube length to make sure it's shorter), and then just use normal spacer stacks and/or stem flipped up to get the handlebar height you need.

It's really too bad that upwardly angled stems are so scorned because they really make more sense than a tall spacer stack and are a cheap way to make a frame fit that is perfect except for the head tube length. Alternative is custom frame, most likely.

Quote:
The zero setback post was something I switched to in effort to shorten the reach without much regard to it's effects on my legs. I would like to move back to a setback post.

Thanks for the advice on WSD. Going through lists of frame geometries I actually did come across a few that would work.


So, it sounds like you did a self-modification with the zero SB post after you'd been properly fitted? Therefore, the bike you have really doesn't represent a professional fitting, but rather an erroneous modification by you that messed up the fit. It's one of the most basic fit factors - you adjust the seat and then adjust the stem.

Interestingly, you might find that re-placing your seat in the proper position will make you more comfortable with a longer stem. "Might" being the operative word. When you're in the right position over the pedals (and it varies depending on personal preference and riding style), you have much less pressure on the hands, and sometimes it might make you feel more comfortable stretched out a little more.

But at your height, my guess is you need a smaller bike that has a shorter top tube and as tall of a head tube as you can find. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:36 am 
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He has the stem slammed right now. I think he would be fine going with a smaller reach frame. It doesn't look like he needs a taller head tube. Pinarello also offers some frames with a short reach instead of just a shorter stem. I'm sure there are more frames out there too. Get that fit dialed first though!

Image


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 2:50 am 
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I'd go with the WSD bikes if the geometry fits what you want. You might be able to swing better deals on them too.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:22 am 
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People have danced around the real issue here but Camilo got the closest. You changed your fit by changing the set back to reduce reach. If the fitted determined you need a certain amount of setback and you've changed that with the straight post then it's not the same any more. Moving your saddle forward also technically reduces the saddle height

You say you have long legs so I cant image why you'd be on such a post.

I don't think anyone can advise you on what you need without seeing what your fitter recommend as about actual bike fit. From that people could work out what frames are actually suitable.

Ultimately WSD frames suffer from the same problems as men's. The smallest two or three sizes have the same reach. Just taller seat and head tubes/stack

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:09 am
Posts: 346
Oh boy.. the stem myth had to be destroyed (good job DMF) and now we need to tackle the fit myth...

1. There is no set way to fit a bike.

Some use Genzling, some use some other arbitrary numbers, some use their eyeballs. You can have a great fit by paying a ton of money to a fitter... but in general you can do just as good job by looking up the Genzling numbers and tweak from there. You can be sure about one thing; the fitter is not working from some secret utraefficient bodymetry basis, it's truly all just estimations without much scientific basis. This is also why these advices for fitters are amusing. If no fitter will get to the same conclusion due to their different methods and experience, who is going to decide what's a good fitter?

2. Cycling is a dynamic sport.

People who think a few millimeter actually matter are not realizing that everyone moves around on their bike. Indeed, one day you are just a tad stiffer than the other. You might wear new pants with a thicker chamois etc. etc. Indeed research pretty much points out that a body will adjust quite well.

Within limits it's all a wash.

3. Tastes differ, by era, by customers and by fitters

Keep in mind that a lot of fitting advice is primarily an aesthetics advice. Depending if the fitter wants you to mimic his (or your!) hero (Merckx, Fignon, Contador, Cavendish, fill in his ideal image) he will optically adjust you to that position. Indeed, generally the looks of the bikes are also a factor :D => here comes the nice fact that a human body is pretty adjustable in lay again.

Am I saying fit doesn't matter? No. But there are no particularly tight parameters and there is certainly no fixed way how to do it. It's anyones choice to pay a fitter, but keep in mind that the best known methods (for example Genzling) can be done by you and a second pair of hands for no cost at all. Then ride your bike and adjust. It's not rocket science... not just because it's particularly easy (it is), but because there is no scientifically determined methodology.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:31 pm
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euan wrote:
...Ultimately WSD frames suffer from the same problems as men's. The smallest two or three sizes have the same reach. Just taller seat and head tubes/stack


Very interesting and important point. Just as a reference, I was looking for a small bike for my small (5-1") middle aged wife. I always assumed that I'd be looking for the smallest size. I had a line on a Specialized Dolce locally, but it was the second to smallest size. Fortunately, I looked at the Spec website and noticed what euan mentioned -that the two smallest sizes had virtually the same effective top tube, when considering the effect of the seat tube angle. So that was not the distinguishing factor between the two frames - it was head tube and seat tube. Since head tube length is important for us geezers (and I believe more youngsters than care to admit it), she was actually better off with the larger frame, the only downside is that she has little standover clearance (which she knows how to deal with - YOU TILT THE BIKE WHEN YOU STOP!)

But back to OP, I want to keep the converstation on track with the point that based on his current set up, the fact that he's messed improperly with the saddle position and has the stem totally slammed down, it's obvious his solution is simple: just get the next smaller frame and fit it the way recommended by a professional fitter that was paid good money. There's nothing in his informatin that indicates the need for a taller than typical head tube for the smaller frame.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 2:28 am
Posts: 18
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Catching up since yesterday,

Camilo wrote:
But back to OP, I want to keep the converstation on track with the point that based on his current set up, the fact that he's messed improperly with the saddle position and has the stem totally slammed down, it's obvious his solution is simple: just get the next smaller frame and fit it the way recommended by a professional fitter that was paid good money. There's nothing in his informatin that indicates the need for a taller than typical head tube for the smaller frame.


The move to the zero setback was before the fit by about 8 months. I had the fitting in Feb, and the fitter adjusted my cleats and saddle position. My left leg was dialed in perfectly, but we never were able to get my right one as comfortable as the left. My right femur is apparently a little longer, and the right side is usually where I get my pain.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Went on an 84 mile ride, right knee pain is still keeping me from getting riding much this weekend, spurring my desire to redo a fit with a better suited frame.

I believe you're right with the headtube. Now that I think about it, I usually prefer riding in the drops where the reach is shorter and I'm much lower. On paper the the numbers for the smaller frames just seems a little daunting in the double digits.

bombertodd wrote:
He has the stem slammed right now. I think he would be fine going with a smaller reach frame. It doesn't look like he needs a taller head tube. Pinarello also offers some frames with a short reach instead of just a shorter stem. I'm sure there are more frames out there too. Get that fit dialed first though!


That is the old setup, before I made adjustments for reach last year.


Here is the current set up, as it has been for the past year. The only changes I've really made since this photo was taken is just handlebar angle, which the fitter helped me with, to cater to my preference for riding in the drops.
Image


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Camilo wrote:
But back to OP, I want to keep the converstation on track with the point that based on his current set up, the fact that he's messed improperly with the saddle position and has the stem totally slammed down, it's obvious his solution is simple: just get the next smaller frame and fit it the way recommended by a professional fitter that was paid good money. There's nothing in his informatin that indicates the need for a taller than typical head tube for the smaller frame.


ace0fclub5 wrote:
The move to the zero setback was before the fit by about 8 months. I had the fitting in Feb, and the fitter adjusted my cleats and saddle position. My left leg was dialed in perfectly, but we never were able to get my right one as comfortable as the left. My right femur is apparently a little longer, and the right side is usually where I get my pain.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Went on an 84 mile ride, right knee pain is still keeping me from getting riding much this weekend, spurring my desire to redo a fit with a better suited frame.

I believe you're right with the headtube. Now that I think about it, I usually prefer riding in the drops where the reach is shorter and I'm much lower. On paper the the numbers for the smaller frames just seems a little daunting in the double digits.

Here is the current set up, as it has been for the past year. The only changes I've really made since this photo was taken is just handlebar angle, which the fitter helped me with, to cater to my preference for riding in the drops.
Image



Sorry, I misunderstood and thought you'd changed the seatpost after the fit because (IIRC) you said you'd changed to zero to affect reach. I'm still surprised that a zero SB post gets you in a good position over the pedals - but that's highly subjective and individual so it is what it is. My bias would be to suspect the quality of the fitting though. But make sure you really like your position over the pedals and then figure out the actual reach you need because if you don't estimate the reach well enough based on correct saddle position, you could end up with a new frame that still doesn't give you what you're looking for.

But do you agree that there's nothing in your current set up that would indicate the need for a taller head tube? And if so, simply getting the same or similar frame in a smaller size would address your primary concern (reach) and would give you the head tube length you need (might require a few spacers under the stem though).

When you compare your current frame to a prospective new, smaller one, be sure to look closely at the ETT/HTT length AND the seat tube angle and make sure the new one is actually shorter by enough to get you the stem length you want. The seat tube angle does affect reach signficantly with a slacker (smaller angle) STA effectively shortening reach by ~1cm / degree (my own experience has confirmed the trigonometry!).

So, for example, let's say your current bike has a 73 degree STA and a 54cm ETT. If the smaller frame has a 52cm ETT but has a 74 degree STA, the actual difference in reach will be closer to one cm, not two. That's because you have to slide your saddle a little further back on the steeper (74 deg) seat tube to get the same position over the pedals, compared to the slacker (73 deg) STA.

If you stick with the same saddle, it's pretty easy to duplicate fit from one frame to the next. A little tricker if you switch saddles, because the points of reference will be different. Park tool website - I believe - has a guide to measuring fit to translate to a new frame.

Hey, good luck with this, I'll be interested in hearing about the progress.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:16 pm 
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It was already discussed in the thread in the initial post. The 49,52 and 54cm SL3 frames all have the same reach.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:13 am 
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Location: Cambridge, New Zealand
It's likely that the reason your bike feels twitchy is because your weight distribution is too far forward. Apart from the effect on handling you're likely also loading up your arms/shoulders and the tension makes you more twitchy.

Knee pain suggests also suggests saddle too far forward and/or cleats not right. You really need to find a better fitter or self educate. The frame is really not the heart of the problem here. You will likely wind up wanting a smaller frame, but it probably doesn't need to be a high stack model. Even if you do need a new frame - it is far better to choose a frame based on matching a good fit than what you're proposing - picking a frame and hoping that it will facilitate a better position.

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