Bike fit- pros vs. the rest of us

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
2lo8
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by 2lo8

They sell different size cone spacers, but there's nothing wrong with a -17 stem either.
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by Weenie


jeffy
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by jeffy

i doubt you have the same flexibility level as the pros. why compare?
why put yourself in a position (overstretched) that impedes the power you can produce?

Fiery
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:21 am

by Fiery

Calnago wrote:They'd get better high speed handling with a longer wheelbase.

They'd get slower handling with a longer wheelbase, but not necessarily better. On most standard frames, the majority if not all of the extra length would go into front center, and this would mess up the weight distribution and negatively affect handling, especially at high speeds. From personal experience, slow doesn't have to mean stable and quick doesn't have to mean twitchy when it comes to bike handling.

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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

jeffy wrote:i doubt you have the same flexibility level as the pros. why compare?
why put yourself in a position (overstretched) that impedes the power you can produce?


I don't ride in the drops :oops: So I still have room to go down but not much. I think I'll leave it the way it is for now until someone tells me I really need to slam that stem even more!

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Fiery wrote:
Calnago wrote:They'd get better high speed handling with a longer wheelbase.

They'd get slower handling with a longer wheelbase, but not necessarily better. On most standard frames, the majority if not all of the extra length would go into front center, and this would mess up the weight distribution and negatively affect handling, especially at high speeds. From personal experience, slow doesn't have to mean stable and quick doesn't have to mean twitchy when it comes to bike handling.

Now we're starting to get into the subjectivity of individual preferences. We were talking about "high speed" handling. And to me, a longer wheelbase (within reason) is more stable, smooth, and hence "better" in most situations overall. But that's not saying "too long" is good either. And as for weight distribution I also mentioned the difference between a pro racers physique and most of the rest of the world. Meaning if you strap a sack of sand on to a pro racers torso, lay him out flat over a short wheelbase, then he too may appreciate a slightly longer wheelbase. I'm not going to get into the nuances of handling geometry here, because they are many and varied. And too long a wheelbase is not good either for general road handling characteristics. The key is to achieve that proper balance and I've seen far too many "big" guys get caught up in the "lady in the shoe store" mentality and get thrown on a way too small frame for them because some kid in a bike shop said "oh yeah dude, get the smallest frame you can ride cuz like, it's lighter and stiffer".
And I appreciate what you're saying @Fiery, about "slow doesn't have to mean stable and quick doesn't have to mean twitchy". True, but those terms shouldn't be confused with the feeling of riding a frame that is clearly "too big" or one that is clearly "too small".


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wingguy
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by wingguy

pdlpsher1 wrote:
jeffy wrote:i doubt you have the same flexibility level as the pros. why compare?
why put yourself in a position (overstretched) that impedes the power you can produce?


I don't ride in the drops :oops: So I still have room to go down but not much. I think I'll leave it the way it is for now until someone tells me I really need to slam that stem even more!


If you don't ride in the drops then you should be thinking you have room to come up until you can, tbh.

lowside67
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:34 pm

by lowside67

wingguy wrote:
pdlpsher1 wrote:
jeffy wrote:i doubt you have the same flexibility level as the pros. why compare?
why put yourself in a position (overstretched) that impedes the power you can produce?


I don't ride in the drops :oops: So I still have room to go down but not much. I think I'll leave it the way it is for now until someone tells me I really need to slam that stem even more!


If you don't ride in the drops then you should be thinking you have room to come up until you can, tbh.

Agree. I have been slowly working my way down the spacers and I have been using the drops as a test that I am ready - if I can ride 50% of my ride in the drops without any discomfort, I take a 10mm spacer out and go back to using the hoods most of the time and slowly working my way down.

Mark

jeffy
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by jeffy

lowside67 wrote:
wingguy wrote:
pdlpsher1 wrote:
jeffy wrote:i doubt you have the same flexibility level as the pros. why compare?
why put yourself in a position (overstretched) that impedes the power you can produce?


I don't ride in the drops :oops: So I still have room to go down but not much. I think I'll leave it the way it is for now until someone tells me I really need to slam that stem even more!


If you don't ride in the drops then you should be thinking you have room to come up until you can, tbh.

Agree. I have been slowly working my way down the spacers and I have been using the drops as a test that I am ready - if I can ride 50% of my ride in the drops without any discomfort, I take a 10mm spacer out and go back to using the hoods most of the time and slowly working my way down.

Mark


just my personal experience.

if i can spend 50% of my time in the drops, and it feels 'just as comfortable' in the drops as in the hoods - and i just use the different positions to give some subtle variation - likely using slightly different supporting musculature ....... (with compact drop bars it isn't much difference in position).
^ i consider this a good position .....

After a while i end up feeling that i am less comfortable on the hoods than i am in the drops, as a slight increase in flexibility has moved my hip/torso angle and my position has lowered very slightly - this is when i move the bars down (but only 2 or 3mm). Maybe i am hugely fussy, but i think anything over 3mm in noticeable on longer rides. Taking out 10mm of spacer at a time is the work of a madman (to me)!

- if you don't have compact bend drops, try them (bars with drop of ~125mm) they make a huge difference.
something like FSA Omega/Gossamer compact are cheap to try out - the tops of the Wing Pro compact are really comfortable though (ovalised).

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Also lowered my position progressively.
It seemed all went well and kaboom my back was messed up.

Now i am back a bit higher again with an extra +5mm spacer.
To bad when you cut steerer on the fork, thinking... since all is well, i cut the fork now.
Then this happens.

I was getting better and rode my bike again (this before i changed to higher stack again),.. the back got much worse and most funny was when i hit a long
distance with horrible terrain (extreme gravel).

Long wheelbase is ofcourse getting you a more stabile bike.
Also less vibrations.

Pro guys ride smaller frames to get low (yes) and also to get a higher stiffness (shorter lenghts=smaller triangles).

I also rode a 54 size Foil a few years ago.
I am 182cm, that is like 5'11 ½ or something!?

In the end i was forced to admit, it was too low and it was to harsh. Longer stem made the bike too unstable cornering in high speed descents.
I do get the idea of a smaller frame. It feels more nimble and playful.

It would be fun to afford to play around with custom frames.
Because if we could, we could test different angles and lengths.
It's difficult to tell or know, what would make up for the most rewarding result.

If you order a custom frame, the risk is always that you describe what you want and the builder has his preference on interpret what you say, through his preference.
I ordered a custom made bike and i was thinking, ok, the guy knows best so i let him decide some things.
It ended up i used the bike and asked him to sell it.
I then ordered a new bike which was more what i had decided for myself.
This was better.
But if you would ask me, was it perfect!?
It's good but not superb.
I still could test several versions before i could decide for sure.

Also remember Lance Armstrong. He rode a 58 size frame and 175mm cranks inspite of his length 1.77 m / 5 ft 9 1⁄2 inch.
By todays trends, he had been adviced a smaller size frame and shorter cranks.

Just look at the bike fit changes from 1970-2016. I know an old guy who rides (and he is racing also) and he uses what we would deem a huge sized frame.
But he says it's best for him. I wouldn't contradict a guy who've been riding for 40 years.
He also says all current race bike saddles are too hard. Quite fun to hear his opinions.
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Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
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R350
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:34 pm

by R350

On a side note, going off of the look of that BMC TM, why do 'some' riders insist on having the deeper section wheel on the back, ie, C50 rear, C35/24 front etc. Kittel had the same when he was at Giant iirc.

One would think that the aero advantage is more necessary on the front, what with the front wheel hitting clean air long after the rear ever does..

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corky
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by corky

R350 wrote:On a side note, going off of the look of that BMC TM, why do 'some' riders insist on having the deeper section wheel on the back, ie, C50 rear, C35/24 front etc. Kittel had the same when he was at Giant iirc.

One would think that the aero advantage is more necessary on the front, what with the front wheel hitting clean air long after the rear ever does..


Guessing......side winds have a much bigger adverse effect on a front wheel

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pdlpsher1
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Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

Thanks guys for the comments. Today I asked my kids to take some photos of me on the bike. I' sort of an 'old school' and I didn't do much research or reading when I got my bike. Here are my stats. I'm 5' 7-1/2" (171.5cm) tall with an inseam of 30" (76cm). I'm riding a 54cm bike (effective top tube = 54.5cm) with a 100mm stem. When my bike speed is high I usually keep my hands on the hoods but I bend my elbows more in order to get lower. I didn't show this position in the photo shoot. If I ride in the drops I find my elbows are locked. By keeping my hands on the hoods and elbows bent I think I can get quite low while minimizing the frontal area as compared to having my hands in the drops. Based on the pictures what you guys think of my bike fit? I have the impression that I'm riding a frame that's one size too large. The next smallest size is a 52cm with an effective top-tube length of 53cm.

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Last edited by pdlpsher1 on Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Treelegs
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:36 pm

by Treelegs

I think you meant 5'7" not 6'7".

Your arms seem to be pretty far extended, nearly locking your elbows, which would cause hand numbness and pain.

Depending on your flexibility and comfort, can you rotate your hips forward you may be able to bend your elbows more due to being able to straighten your back.

Holding the tops of the hoods would seem to not terribly comfortable due to the long reach.

Nejmann
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:25 pm

by Nejmann

You def. need a shorter stem or headtube.

dudemanppl
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:09 am

by dudemanppl

Whats your saddle tip to bar center?

by Weenie


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