Do slammed stems mean bike fits have gone out the window

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
alcatraz
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by alcatraz

ergott wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:49 am
Do you think the fit these pro's use when racing is what they or a top fitter would recommend for recreational riding?

If you agree it's a compromise for absolute speed at cost of some comfort then there is the discussion of to what degree such a compromise would be acceptable for different riders.

To change topic a bit. What do you (everyone) think about people having one fit for training and one for racing? I've seen that... maybe only with TT, not sure.

/a

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ergott
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by ergott


alcatraz wrote:
Do you think the fit these pro's use when racing is what they or a top fitter would recommend for recreational riding?

/a
Not sure what you are suggesting. These are the most extreme positions for speed. Recreational riding would only mean a less extreme position and likely more spacers/less saddle to bar drop.

I also don't think they ignore comfort since they ride a full time jobs worth of hours in the position. I have a feeling when when they get off the bike after a hard day's work it's the legs that are sacked not their backs or neck. Again they have much higher w/kg than most so their legs are supporting their upper body.

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by Weenie


istigatrice
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by istigatrice

markdjr wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:57 pm
Is there something to be said for sizing down in hopes of more agility? I ride a 58cm tarmac with a couple spacers and a +6 stem. I could have gone with a 61 and slammed the stem but felt like the larger frame was a bit more cumbersome. Is this just me?
Might add to a few other replies that if you're between sizes go with the size which has the "correct" trail/flop, and if the trail/flop is the same (or within your prefered range) go with the size that puts the front wheel in the "correct" position for you.

In other words if you have an idea of the weight distribution you like, and the handling characteristics you like then the "correct" choice should be fairly obvious. To comment on your observations, the larger frame may have felt more cumbersome because your weight was slightly back relative to the front wheel. The front center of the 61 tarmac is slightly longer than the 58 so it'll affect your weight distribution between the wheels. A (perhaps) simpler explanation is that the 61 may have just been a more "stable" bike because of the longer front center and hence felt more cumbersome.
I write the weightweenies blog, hope you like it :)

Disclosure: I'm sponsored by Velocite, but I do give my honest opinion about them (I'm endorsed to race their bikes, not say nice things about them)

istigatrice
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by istigatrice

alcatraz wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:12 am
To change topic a bit. What do you (everyone) think about people having one fit for training and one for racing? I've seen that... maybe only with TT, not sure.
Really depends on which camp you live in - some argue that it's the same heart and lungs, but there's also a counteragrument about specificity. I sit somewhere in the middle ground in that I have a different positions for different disciplines, but I train for a discipline in the position that I'll race in. I'd agree that general fitness etc carries over but for me when the pointy end of a race comes I'm often found out if I haven't done the specific work required.
I write the weightweenies blog, hope you like it :)

Disclosure: I'm sponsored by Velocite, but I do give my honest opinion about them (I'm endorsed to race their bikes, not say nice things about them)

Stitchking
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by Stitchking

My new bike has a 15mm lower stack. Not running a -17 stem any more. Still not running any spacers. Will add bearing cover.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

Gotta keep the balance between performance and aesthetics. Its half the reason most of us love bikes.

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themidge
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by themidge

ergott wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:00 am
themidge wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:28 pm
I have to disagree with you there, there's a good fit for the person, and then there's fitting that fit onto the right frame. When there are spacers on a bike, for me it usually indicates that that second step has been done badly or sometimes even dispensed with entirely, in favour of aesthetics or brand loyalty.
You don't ride enough with really fast riders because that statement is simply fashion. Slammed stem is nice if if it's convenient, but not essential. If you were correct then no pro (who's entire career is bike riding) would ride with spacers and that's flat out false. Don't go blaming sponsors either. Pros aren't riding endurance versions of their sponsor's lineup and many of them have spacers. They don't have stacks and stacks, but they have spacers.
The implication of my post was not meant to be that a slammed stem is essential, rather that it's evidence of a frame that did not perfectly match a rider's optimal position of the contact points.
This entire discussion is based on aesthetics; whether people choose to slam their stem or stick with a certain frame they like the look of or whatever. Obviously there are extremes where someone does need spacers in order to have any amount of seatpost showing, but for a normal 'racy' position spacers shouldn't be needed.
Pros are absolutely restricted by sponsorship, they have to find the right size frame by looking at only one manufacturer. Sometimes they need a spacer or two because they're between sizes or the frame has the right reach but the wrong stack. If it weren't so prohibitively expensive, I'm sure most pros would have customs frames made like they used to.

Orbital
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by Orbital

Stitchking wrote:
Gotta keep the balance between performance and aesthetics. Its half the reason most of us love bikes.

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Agreed. And to the previous point about less extreme positions on a recreational bike, I would argue the opposite for most people on here. Why would you not have a more extreme position on a bike you are not riding hard or for long periods of time? Kind of like a hot rod. You wouldn’t race it or take it on a road trip, but hot damn it looks good rolling by.

mattr
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by mattr

themidge wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:13 pm
The implication of my post was not meant to be that a slammed stem is essential, rather that it's evidence of a frame that did not perfectly match a rider's optimal position of the contact points.
:?:

As long as the axis of the steerer is pointing in the right direction, spacers simply mean that the specific frames stack wasn't quite high enough. Or every manufacturer would have to make about half a dozen frames in each size, each with a steerer 5mm longer than the next. Just to satisfy some odd views about what a "correct" fit should be.

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themidge
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by themidge

mattr wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:47 pm
Or every manufacturer would have to make about half a dozen frames in each size, each with a steerer 5mm longer than the next. Just to satisfy some odd views about what a "correct" fit should be.
This is basically my point, the variation between manufacturers is what makes it possible for everyone to find a frame that fits without spacers. Conversely, sticking with one manufacturer (like the pros do) sometimes means you need spacers. I'm not saying that people have spacers have an incorrect fit per say, just that that fit could often be put on another frame to eliminate spacers. If two bikes had the same fit (position of the contact points 'in the air' as it were) but one had spacers and the other didn't, I'd say that the latter fitted 'better'.

mattr
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by mattr

themidge wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:47 pm
but one had spacers and the other didn't, I'd say that the latter fitted 'better'.
You'd be "wrong" then. ;)

There is no benefit to having no spacers to achieve a fit. Within certain limits.

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ergott
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by ergott

To look at it another way, race bikes are designed to fit a bell curve of riders (at least if they are smart). Average cyclist uses about 2cm spacers, 4cm is the max for outliers and slammed is the other end of spectrum. That way your bike fits more riders. Add stem angle to the mix and you have a pretty flexible range. Slammed with - 17 stem just means you are on the extreme end of fit bell curve.

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Nefarious86
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by Nefarious86

After 5 attempts at being "fit" including a go by the most respected bloke in the country for fit I still had pain every ride. Roll forward to cracking it and doing my own thing 40mm lower and 20mm longer and life is much better. I still get pain in my T5-6 at times but its 100% more manageable with a more stretched position. Image

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Wookski
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by Wookski

Chavanel would still be on a WT team if he slammed, what a curmudgeon

Wookski
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by Wookski

My custom bike has no spacers, one of my non-custom frames does because I swapped the Chris King boat anchor headset for Extralite and dropped another 10mm in stack. Every time I look at that bike the spacers disgust me.

by Weenie


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Wingnut
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by Wingnut

If you take custom frames out of the picture I believe bike fit went out the window when the stupid idea (blame Mike Burrows & GIANT) of making frames in a XS, S, M, L & XL came about...there was a time when a road frame came in 1cm increments. Now we are in an era of compromise where we buy a small frame to get extra stiffness, put a longer stem on it to try to get it to fit and slam it to mimick the Pro's. The bike companies are laughing because they don't have to construct as many sizes...
"It's not the destination...it's the ride!"

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