Kinesis conundrum

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Brianjeff50
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Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 17 Jul 2019, 2:00pm

A while back I came across a lovely nick Kinesis Racelite 4S at a very good price. I love the bike but the more I ride it the more i feel it’s not quite the right size - it’s a 55.5 and at 5ft 9in in the Kinesis guide I’m right on the border with this and a 54. I’m an old git (71) returning to bikes so not as fit and stiffer than I was.
What puzzles me is that to get roughly a KOPS position I have to set the saddle right back (I’m 32in leg) which leaves me stretching a bit to the bars with the resultant shoulder/neck ache.
I know the answer is ‘get a bike fit’ but am i wasting my time even trying to make this bike fit me? Has anyone had any experience with a 4S.

Brucey
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brucey » 17 Jul 2019, 4:38pm

the seat angle won't change a huge amount between any two sizes, the top tube length might (but its unlike to be more than 1cm) and the chances are (at your age) that your will be using a slightly higher handlebar position than some. Thus my suggestion is to try a shorter stem and to see how that goes; you ought to be able to get the same position on either frame but if you have the handlebars set reasonably high it might be easier on the larger frame.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pwa
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby pwa » 17 Jul 2019, 4:56pm

How long is the handlebar stem (centre to centre) and how much shorter would it have to be to bring the bars close enough? If a shorter stem would cure the problem you could get a decent one for not all that much and changing it over would take ten minutes. And some stems can be flipped so that instead of being roughly horizontal they rise up a bit.

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 17 Jul 2019, 5:17pm

pwa wrote:How long is the handlebar stem (centre to centre) and how much shorter would it have to be to bring the bars close enough? If a shorter stem would cure the problem you could get a decent one for not all that much and changing it over would take ten minutes. And some stems can be flipped so that instead of being roughly horizontal they rise up a bit.


I did swap a while ago to a 90mm from 120mm I’m afraid.

pwa
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby pwa » 17 Jul 2019, 5:20pm

You may also consider bars that are more compact, with shallower drops (if you use them) and, more importantly, a shorter forward reach to where the brake levers go. And flipping the stem.

it does sound, though, as if the seat angle may be too steep, making it hard for you to sit right without putting the bars out of reach.

Depending on how adaptable your legs and feet are, moving the cleats backwards on your shoes effectively moves your bum forwards. That works for me but some would have problems with mucking about with cleat position like that.

hamster
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby hamster » 17 Jul 2019, 5:39pm

Out of interest, did you have discomfort before adjusting to KOPS? There seems to be loads of mythology about it - peopel cannot even decide where on the knee!

I'd try putting the saddle forward to get a comfortable position. There is a fab thread by 531colin on here about setting position - he bases it more on balancing the body on the saddle than anything else. I tried it and it works for me.

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 17 Jul 2019, 6:48pm

hamster wrote:Out of interest, did you have discomfort before adjusting to KOPS? There seems to be loads of mythology about it - peopel cannot even decide where on the knee!

I'd try putting the saddle forward to get a comfortable position. There is a fab thread by 531colin on here about setting position - he bases it more on balancing the body on the saddle than anything else. I tried it and it works for me.


When I was a lad you just made a couple of basic settings, hopped on the bike and rode it. Now I’m old and creaky every small change makes a different part ache. I’ll read 531colin’s piece with interest.

whoof
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby whoof » 17 Jul 2019, 7:54pm

I have a T2 race light which has the same geometry. I'm 5' 8'' and ride a 51 cm with an 11 cm stem and shallow drop bars. The reason I went for the 51 cm was the effective top tube length of 54.4 cm.
I currently have 51, 52, 53 and 54 cm 'sized' road bikes and have formerly had a 46 cm based on seat tube measurements. However they all have effective top tubes between 53.5 and 54.5 cm and I have therefore been able to get the contract points in the right place.

Which way up is your stem? If it's flat try turning it over to get an incline to give a slightly higher and shorter position.

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531colin
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby 531colin » 17 Jul 2019, 9:45pm

pwa wrote:…..it does sound, though, as if the seat angle may be too steep, making it hard for you to sit right without putting the bars out of reach.

Well, seat tube angle doesn't really determine reach. A seat tube angle that is "too steep" (for an individual rider/type of riding) simply requires a long layback seatpost to get the saddle far enough back. Whether the reach is then too long depends on top tube length, which is again governed by all sorts of things; head angle, fork offset, and front centre, which is again governed by whether or not the designer wants to avoid toe overlap with/without mudguards......
pwa wrote:…..Depending on how adaptable your legs and feet are, moving the cleats backwards on your shoes effectively moves your bum forwards. That works for me but some would have problems with mucking about with cleat position like that.

I have been going round this loop myself recently. I would have thought that moving the cleats back (and therefore the feet forwards) was equivalent to moving the saddle back; because either case puts the feet further in front of the bum. However, for me at least, that doesn't seem to be the case.
For reasons I won't go into just now, I have recently moved my cleats back quite a lot. This had the effect of loading my quads, so that they became very sore after a big ride. To unload my quads, the first thing I tried was moving the saddle back, and up to now it seems to be working, I will write it up when I'm sure! I seem to be following "Rocco" here..https://forums.roadbikereview.com/components-wrenching/steve-hogg-no-matter-how-hard-you-ride-there-should-no-localized-quad-soreness-201775.html

jessand
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby jessand » 17 Jul 2019, 9:54pm

I was put off buying kinesis due to their longer top tubes. The 56.25 of your frame means you're likely need a shorter stem to compensate. I'm roughly your size and age and have a 54 top tube (same seat angle) with 100mm stem. An 80mm stem should get you closer to a good fit but as you are just returning to cycling you may well need something even shorter initially. Hope this helps.

pwa
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby pwa » 17 Jul 2019, 9:57pm

531colin wrote:
pwa wrote:…..it does sound, though, as if the seat angle may be too steep, making it hard for you to sit right without putting the bars out of reach.

Well, seat tube angle doesn't really determine reach. A seat tube angle that is "too steep" (for an individual rider/type of riding) simply requires a long layback seatpost to get the saddle far enough back. Whether the reach is then too long depends on top tube length, which is again governed by all sorts of things; head angle, fork offset, and front centre, which is again governed by whether or not the designer wants to avoid toe overlap with/without mudguards......

Yes. My thinking is that the frame may have been designed for people who want to have the saddle high and sit further forward in relation to the bottom bracket, with the top tube long enough to create problems for those of us who like to sit a bit further back. But this is only guessing.

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531colin
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby 531colin » 17 Jul 2019, 10:08pm

pwa wrote:
531colin wrote:
pwa wrote:…..it does sound, though, as if the seat angle may be too steep, making it hard for you to sit right without putting the bars out of reach.

Well, seat tube angle doesn't really determine reach. A seat tube angle that is "too steep" (for an individual rider/type of riding) simply requires a long layback seatpost to get the saddle far enough back. Whether the reach is then too long depends on top tube length, which is again governed by all sorts of things; head angle, fork offset, and front centre, which is again governed by whether or not the designer wants to avoid toe overlap with/without mudguards......

Yes. My thinking is that the frame may have been designed for people who want to have the saddle high and sit further forward in relation to the bottom bracket, with the top tube long enough to create problems for those of us who like to sit a bit further back. But this is only guessing.


I think your guess is exactly right. Modern fashion is to "rotate the rider around the pedal spindle" to gain an aerodynamic position....the saddle goes forward and up, the bars go forward and down. Its OK if you have the power output of Geraint, because the "equal and opposite reaction" of Newtonian physics supports the torso which is cantilevered out way in front of the saddle....but its no good for the average septuagenarian.....

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531colin
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby 531colin » 17 Jul 2019, 10:18pm

"BrianJeff"...I'm just a year older than you, and yeah, it doesn't get any easier to get comfortable.
Don't be frightened to fit a really short stem; 60mm are easily available, and Deda go down to 45mm, from memory.
They say that a short stem makes the steering twitchy, but if on your short stem your hands (on the hoods) are at the same reach as they were on the tops on a longer stem, then there is actually no difference in the weight on the front wheel, which is all you might be changing. And you can always run the front tyre 10psi less pressure. As Brucey says, the bigger frame has a taller head tube which means the bars start off higher anyway, and the "correct" frame size is likely to be only 10mm shorter anyway. Also think about a high rise stem; recreational cyclists don't need the bars lower than the saddle, particularly septuagenarian recreational cyclists!
You will need the saddle pushed pretty far back to get comfortable on a (fashionable) race-inspired bike (or even a long layback seatpost)....they aren't designing for us old gimmers!
Neck and shoulder ache can be caused by having too much weight on your hands, and the remedy for this is to move the saddle back to reach the "balance point" somebody mentioned earlier....its in my DIY bike fit linked below my signature.
Finally, do persevere and get comfortable on this bike that you have. If you give up and get a different bike without getting comfortable on this one, then you are just "buying blind" and the next bike is no more likely to fit than the current one. If you find a seventy-odd year old bike fitter do let us know here.....my recent experience suggests that anybody under seventy doesn't stand much chance of knowing what its like!

pwa
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby pwa » 17 Jul 2019, 10:25pm

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/stems/100-s ... amp-black/
I find these Shimano-made stems cost effective and they come in a very wide range of lengths. But be careful not to do the bolts up tighter than recommended.

slowster
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby slowster » 17 Jul 2019, 10:37pm

A couple of thoughts which may or may not be relevant in your case:

- You say you are returning to riding, It might take a little while, i.e. longer than it would for a much more flexible youngster, for your body to adapt again to a drop barred riding position. It might already be a while since you started riding again, but if you are still in the process of increasing the length of your rides (and thus the time in the saddle), it would not surprise me if you continued to experience neck ache until you stopped increasing the duration of your rides.

- 90mm is a relatively short stem, but you may also need to consider the forward reach of the bars and of the levers. Current Shimano STI levers (assuming that's what you have) are very long, bulky and have a large flat surface, which I think tend to require the lever to be installed with the flat surface level (horizontal). The large bulk and long flat surface make the lever unsuitable/uncomfortable IMO if the lever is rotated back on the bars. A traditional non-brifter lever was much less bulky and usually the top of the lever was curved, which provided better support for the web of the hand between thumb and first finger, and there would be quite a wide range of positions for the lever to mounted on a curved bar, i.e. rotated backwards or forwards.

I find that Shimano STIs significantly increase the reach compared with a non-brifter lever. This is even more pronounced if comparing a typical horizontal STI lever with a traditional brake lever that has been rotated back on the bars, e.g. as in the photographs of Samuel D's bike in this thread.

Furthermore, I find the horizontal STI lever forces my hand to adopt a not particularly supportive/comfortable angle - it feels like the angle at which I would hold my hand if were about to shake hands with someone. With a traditional lever rotated back, my hand is at a much more comfortable angle and is much better supported, a bit like how I imagine it would feel holding a pistol grip.

Apologies OP if none of the above applies to you, but I suspect that something seemingly as minor as the wrist angle/lever shape and rotation can make quite a difference to whether or not a set up on the bike feels comfortable or too much of a stretch.
Last edited by slowster on 17 Jul 2019, 11:23pm, edited 2 times in total.