Fit changes to improve bike handling?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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wintershade
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I have a Canyon Ultimate SLX that I've never really gotten along with. I don't like the handling. When descending, I feel like I'm about to fall over the front of the bike, and in tigher cornering it just fees a bit slow (compared to my Bowman Palace R for example, which I LOVE the handling of, but ride is a bit rough). I'm trying to figure out why, and what to avoid in my next "race" bike purchase.

Could it be:
1) I My fitter switched me from a 100mm (integrated) stem cockpit to a 120mm. This places the bars/steering axis about 1cm in front of the front axel. If I imagine what the bike would feel like back on the shorter stem, with the steering axis closer to my body, I think it might feel better. Though this would likely create other fit problems. Perhaps I just need a bike with a longer head tube?
2) Perhaps I just like a shorter wheelbase bike? My Bowman has a 982mm wheelbase (405mm stays) vs 988mm (410mm stays)?
3) Perhaps it's a weight distribution issues? Like based on the tube angles etc, in order to get my body in the right place relative to the BB, I'm just too far forward and everything feels unbalanced on the Ultimate?

I'm looking at selling my Ultimate for a V2R (which would need a 120 stem) or maybe an Aeroad (much longer/lower front end), much different riding positions and geometries, and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.

by Weenie


Alexandrumarian
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:34 pm
Location: Romania

by Alexandrumarian

What size is it, what is your height and inseam?

zefs
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

To avoid the falling in front of the bike feeling when descending you would need to place the weight distribution more to the rear of the bike and also have a more upright position. You can test it out without changing anything on the setup, just sit to the most rear position in the saddle (it will feel hard to pedal but it will give you the stability).

Then it depends what you are looking for from a bike, race geometry is for racing position and agility/speed, but you can set your current bike to give you what you are after depending on ride characteristics. Dropping the tire pressures would also help with cornering too.

Karvalo
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:40 pm

by Karvalo

wintershade wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm
1) I My fitter switched me from a 100mm (integrated) stem cockpit to a 120mm. This places the bars/steering axis about 1cm in front of the front axel. If I imagine what the bike would feel like back on the shorter stem, with the steering axis closer to my body, I think it might feel better. Though this would likely create other fit problems. Perhaps I just need a bike with a longer head tube?
2) Perhaps I just like a shorter wheelbase bike? My Bowman has a 982mm wheelbase (405mm stays) vs 988mm (410mm stays)?
Something doesn't add up. That geometry comparison means that the front centre is only around 1mm different between your two bikes. So, if your bars are on the same place on both bikes, then they're both about 1cm in front of the front axle, therefore it's not what's causing the problem. If your bars are not on the same place on both bikes, then where are they on the Bowman?

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4159
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

wintershade wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm
I have a Canyon Ultimate SLX that I've never really gotten along with. I don't like the handling. When descending, I feel like I'm about to fall over the front of the bike, and in tigher cornering it just fees a bit slow (compared to my Bowman Palace R for example, which I LOVE the handling of, but ride is a bit rough). I'm trying to figure out why, and what to avoid in my next "race" bike purchase.

Could it be:
1) I My fitter switched me from a 100mm (integrated) stem cockpit to a 120mm. This places the bars/steering axis about 1cm in front of the front axel. If I imagine what the bike would feel like back on the shorter stem, with the steering axis closer to my body, I think it might feel better. Though this would likely create other fit problems. Perhaps I just need a bike with a longer head tube?
2) Perhaps I just like a shorter wheelbase bike? My Bowman has a 982mm wheelbase (405mm stays) vs 988mm (410mm stays)?
3) Perhaps it's a weight distribution issues? Like based on the tube angles etc, in order to get my body in the right place relative to the BB, I'm just too far forward and everything feels unbalanced on the Ultimate?

I'm looking at selling my Ultimate for a V2R (which would need a 120 stem) or maybe an Aeroad (much longer/lower front end), much different riding positions and geometries, and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.

1) When countersteering with a much longer stem than what you are used to, it feels foreign at first. You have to push your bar more down and less “out” to feel less stretched out.

2) I have extreme doubts that you can perceive a 5mm difference in chainstay length...that’s not it.

3) Get your whole upper body lower when descending and that farther forward “imbalance” you’re feeling might actually change into a feeling of confidence / control. You want that weight on the front tire, just not at the expense of handling.

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

wintershade wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:19 pm
3) Perhaps it's a weight distribution issues? Like based on the tube angles etc, in order to get my body in the right place relative to the BB, I'm just too far forward and everything feels unbalanced on the Ultimate?
5mm longer stays and 6mm on wheelbase means your weight distribution and position should be *almost* exactly the same. Well within the amount of variation of riding the same bike day to day.
Unless your fit on each bike is wildly different.

jih
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:54 pm

by jih

Are the bars lower on the new bike? Do the bars have more reach, like going from a compact bar to traditional drops?

Is the saddle further forward relative to the BB on the new bike? Ie, does the seatpost have less offset, is the seat tube steeper, or is the saddle further forward on the post?

spartacus
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:53 pm

by spartacus

What size bike and what is your saddle height drop and reach? In my experience the longer the stem and the more drop, the better the handling is generally speaking. Some frames really do just handle better than others too.

wintershade
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I generally ride a size 56 (M in Canyon). I'm 179cm tall, with 86cm inseam, and long 71cm arms. My retul stack/reach numbers (off the Canyon) are BB to handlebars stack: 634, reach: 501.

Here are fram stack/reach of the bikes. I used the "VeloAngle" to dial in fit so they should be rought the same across the two bikes.
Ultimate (M): 567 stack / 391 reach, 25mm of spacers with 172.5 crank and 120mm stem on a short reach handlebar (Canyon Ergo) - don't like this bike's handling
PalaceR (56): 562 stack / 388 reach, 20mm spacer with 170 crank and 120mm stem (+8 degrees, though bike handles better -8 degrees but hurts my neck on longer rides) - LOVE this bikes handles)

Framsets I'm considering buying:
Aeroad SL (M): 550 stack / 397 reach, 27.5mm spacer... comes with 100mm stem integrated aerocockpit but woudl switch to 110, and 170 cranks?
Aeroad SL (L): 570 stack / 403 reach... comes with a 110 stem cockpit which is nice, though I worry this fram will be too big given my 86cm inseam and will the 1006 wheelbase handle like a tractor trailer
V2R (54s): 582 stack / 387 reach -- might need a 120 or even 130 stem here?

Fundamentally - the Aeroad would seem to solve for my long torso, with it's much longer/lower frame, but I've actually heard low headtubes handle worse? The V2R solves for a more upright (comfortable on neck) riding position... though I'm getting more flexible and want to get used to a LOW position as I mostly do TT on a Canyon Speedmax SLX.

Obviously, very confused....

Karvalo
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:40 pm

by Karvalo

wintershade wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:01 pm
Here are fram stack/reach of the bikes. I used the "VeloAngle" to dial in fit so they should be rought the same across the two bikes.
Ultimate (M): 567 stack / 391 reach, 25mm of spacers with 172.5 crank and 120mm stem on a short reach handlebar (Canyon Ergo) - don't like this bike's handling
PalaceR (56): 562 stack / 388 reach, 20mm spacer with 170 crank and 120mm stem (+8 degrees, though bike handles better -8 degrees but hurts my neck on longer rides) - LOVE this bikes handles)
Things like the front centre and bb drop are both almost exactly the same on those bikes, so no reason why you should be getting a drastic 'falling over the front' sensation even if they will handle differently for other reasons.

One thing that does change is seattube angle - the Canyon is almost a degree steeper. Have you matched the saddle positions for bb setback, or could you simply be sitting much further forward on the SLX than the Palace?
I've actually heard low headtubes handle worse?
Even as a general rule, why would that be the case?

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 4159
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

If you’re 179cm with an 86cm inseam, you don’t have a long torso...unless you have no neck or a squat head...

wintershade
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Karvalo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:16 pm
I've actually heard low headtubes handle worse?
Even as a general rule, why would that be the case?
The explaination my old fitter (who I stopped going to) gave me was: it generally shifts your weight further forward over the front wheel, so it can feel like the front wheel is more likely to wash out in a turn. That ideally (aerodynamics taken out of the equation) a more upright position that distributes your weight more evenly over the bars and saddle is more comfortable and handles better. Any truth to that?
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:09 am
If you’re 179cm with an 86cm inseam, you don’t have a long torso...unless you have no neck or a squat head...
My torso is pretty average length I think (59cm), it's my arms that are long (71 cm). Shirt sleeves are usually 1-2 cm short on me. I'm a swimmer. Big oars.....

wintershade
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Karvalo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:16 pm
Things like the front centre and bb drop are both almost exactly the same on those bikes, so no reason why you should be getting a drastic 'falling over the front' sensation even if they will handle differently for other reasons.
Very interesting.... Hmm.... I looked at my VeloAngle reports, and BB to saddle tip (setback) is almost identical -81mm for the Ultimate and -82mm for the Palace. The headtube on the Ultimate is a little steeper at 73.3% vs 73% for the Palace, but that doesn't add up as the Palace is the sharper handling bike.

wintershade
Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Anyhow I've kind of given up on the Canyon Ultimate. I already have a friend who wants to buy it from me (for a massive beating) but oh well. I like the Palace and will keep it as a B bike for now, but the question now is whether to go Aeroad vs V2R based on fit and handling. I want something fast and sharp for days I want to drop the hammer. I already have a Ti "endurance" bike on order for long easy days in the saddle -- stack 579 and reach 383.

RedbullFiXX
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:13 am

by RedbullFiXX

imho. lower front generally feels more nimble, so less stack and -8* on the Palace should be better in that regard

The Aeroad has very sharp handling, with an option to extend the wheelbase to temper if too sharp
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by Weenie


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