Kinesis conundrum

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 17 Jul 2019, 10:51pm

531colin wrote:"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!


Thanks for all that ‘wise old bird’ advice. I’m not as sharp as I once was but I still enjoy pushing myself a bit on the odd Sportive and take some satisfaction in getting a Strava PB. I’m hoping I can substitute stamina for lack of speed so I need a bike that’s comfortable for a few hours in the saddle and an all weather all rounder as I don’t have enough space for n + 1 bikes.
That’s why I’d like to get the Kinesis right or chop it in for something that fits the bill better.

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 17 Jul 2019, 11:32pm

slowster wrote: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.


Likewise thanks for useful comments. I know what you mean about the Shimano levers, they are indeed large and awkwardly positioned - nor especially easy to use if, like me, you have small hands. But I think I’ll trade that for not having to reach for down tube levers.
And that bike of Samuel D’s is a peach - beautiful light, clean lines

brynpoeth
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Jul 2019, 5:35am

whoof wrote:..
I.. 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.
..

Maybe top tube length should be the go to way to size a frame, not seat tube height
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hamster
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby hamster » 18 Jul 2019, 8:25am

One other thing to add, havea serious look at the bars. On some the reach forward is HUGE, and you can easily shorten it 20mm or so simply by swapping to a more compact set. Likewise the drop on the hooks - there are now plenty available at 120-130mm drop, but many stock ones are 160mm.

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 18 Jul 2019, 10:30am

The more I fiddle, the more in a muddle I get! At the moment the saddle height seems about right however using KOPS my top of shin ‘bump’ is a good 25-30mm forward of the pedal crank. I know it’s only a guide but I seem to be well out. The saddle is set as far back as the rails allow and there’s about 65mm setback (saddle nose to b/b centre). If I hang my bum off the back of the saddle I can (as expected) get in a nice racing crouch on the drops.
Increasingly I have the feeling this frame is just too long.

pwa
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby pwa » 18 Jul 2019, 10:38am

Brianjeff50 wrote:The more I fiddle, the more in a muddle I get! At the moment the saddle height seems about right however using KOPS my top of shin ‘bump’ is a good 25-30mm forward of the pedal crank. I know it’s only a guide but I seem to be well out. The saddle is set as far back as the rails allow and there’s about 65mm setback (saddle nose to b/b centre). If I hang my bum off the back of the saddle I can (as expected) get in a nice racing crouch on the drops.
Increasingly I have the feeling this frame is just too long.

Too long a top tube and too steep a seat tube, the latter meaning you can't get the saddle back far enough? I suspect something like a Spa Audax (steel or titanium) might have a size that works better for you. It would be safer to go to a bike builder and get to sit on some bikes so that any money you spend is well spent.

slowster
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby slowster » 18 Jul 2019, 11:41am

Brianjeff50 wrote:The more I fiddle, the more in a muddle I get! At the moment the saddle height seems about right however using KOPS my top of shin ‘bump’ is a good 25-30mm forward of the pedal crank. I know it’s only a guide but I seem to be well out. The saddle is set as far back as the rails allow and there’s about 65mm setback (saddle nose to b/b centre). If I hang my bum off the back of the saddle I can (as expected) get in a nice racing crouch on the drops.
Increasingly I have the feeling this frame is just too long.

I would echo the advice to use 531Colin's guide. With regard to saddle setback, I presume you are not using a Brooks saddle, which have short rails and limit setback, but something else that would have a similar effect is an inline seatpost. The photographs of the pink version of the current Racelight on Kinesis' website show it built up with an inline seatpost, and I know that shops will often build up Kinesis' frames with a standard 'build kit' of components that they buy from Kinesis together with the frames.

Lastly, harping on about my hobby horse of Shimano STIs, if that is a factor in your case, one option is to rotate the entire bar back. You can see that has been done with quite a few of the illustrated bikes on Spa Cycle's website, e.g. like this Titanium Audax model. That will obviously shorten the effective reach and increase the effective height when riding on the hoods. That set up looks very odd to my old fashioned eyes, but I see a lot of sportive and leisure riders with bars like that.

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 18 Jul 2019, 3:20pm

slowster wrote:
Brianjeff50 wrote:The more I fiddle, the more in a muddle I get! At the moment the saddle height seems about right however using KOPS my top of shin ‘bump’ is a good 25-30mm forward of the pedal crank. I know it’s only a guide but I seem to be well out. The saddle is set as far back as the rails allow and there’s about 65mm setback (saddle nose to b/b centre). If I hang my bum off the back of the saddle I can (as expected) get in a nice racing crouch on the drops.
Increasingly I have the feeling this frame is just too long.

I would echo the advice to use 531Colin's guide. With regard to saddle setback, I presume you are not using a Brooks saddle, which have short rails and limit setback, but something else that would have a similar effect is an inline seatpost. The photographs of the pink version of the current Racelight on Kinesis' website show it built up with an inline seatpost, and I know that shops will often build up Kinesis' frames with a standard 'build kit' of components that they buy from Kinesis together with the frames.

Lastly, harping on about my hobby horse of Shimano STIs, if that is a factor in your case, one option is to rotate the entire bar back. You can see that has been done with quite a few of the illustrated bikes on Spa Cycle's website, e.g. like this Titanium Audax model. That will obviously shorten the effective reach and increase the effective height when riding on the hoods. That set up looks very odd to my old fashioned eyes, but I see a lot of sportive and leisure riders with bars like that.

Mine is like the blue one - small amount of offset and the saddle is a Selle Italia R1 (a bit hard and narrow but I can’t fiddle everything!). The bars are a bit tipped too.
I’ve read through 531Colin’s guide and will have a play around based on that too!

keyboardmonkey
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby keyboardmonkey » 19 Jul 2019, 5:59am

Brianjeff50 wrote: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... Has anyone had any experience with a 4S.

IMHO the bike is simply to big for you. I have a 51cm 2010 Racelight T2 and I’m 5’8”. Like the 4S and its predecessor in the Kinesis range it is meant to set you up in a “long and low” position (although Kinesis added 25mm to the headset in later models across the board). It is after all meant to be a winter - or four seasons - bike that the racing cyclist can take out in iffy weather to keep their best bike away from road muck but maintain their same position.

Here’s a picture of my T2. I think the stem is relatively short, but it’s the one it came with and I’ve not bothered to change it. I reckon the fistful and a bit of seat pin sticking out of the seat tube is about right. How about yours?

6AAD421A-9C39-435E-AA88-29AF9C963C1D.jpeg

More recently I bought a Giant TCR road bike, but felt scrunched up on it. I put a longer stem on it and moved all but one on the spacers above the stem to give me the same position as I have on my T2.

If you’re returning to cycling at 71, you’re relatively unfit and inflexible I’d say cut your losses and get another bike if all the seat pin, stem and bar swapping about doesn’t work for you. My suggestion would be something like a secondhand 54cm/medium Giant Defy. Whatever you do best wishes and good luck.

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531colin
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby 531colin » 19 Jul 2019, 9:22am

Brianjeff50 wrote:The more I fiddle, the more in a muddle I get! At the moment the saddle height seems about right however using KOPS my top of shin ‘bump’ is a good 25-30mm forward of the pedal crank. I know it’s only a guide but I seem to be well out. The saddle is set as far back as the rails allow and there’s about 65mm setback (saddle nose to b/b centre). If I hang my bum off the back of the saddle I can (as expected) get in a nice racing crouch on the drops.
Increasingly I have the feeling this frame is just too long.

Before you can even start to make a sensible judgement about your riding position, frame size, etc, etc. you need to get the saddle much further back.
There is a thing called a VK adapter, which is quite nasty and none too cheap, but it will get your saddle where you need it.
Or there is the option of a long layback seatpost. You need a really long layback for an extra inch, not something that pretends to be a long layback. As far as I know, there is nothing currently available in the budget price range with a really long layback....and just to complicate it, there doesn't seem to be a universal method of measuring layback. You may think that this one from Nitto is staggeringly expensive http://freshtripe.co.uk/nitto-s84-lugged-seatpost-27-2mm/ but its probably cheaper than randomly chopping and changing bikes in the hope of finding something which fits. (For example, if you get a bike similar to the current one but 2 sizes smaller, the top tube will probably be 20mm shorter, 2 stem sizes, but that is sometimes achieved by making the seat tube angle even steeper than the bigger sizes of the same bike)
There is this seatpost https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/seat-posts/humpert-vario-futura-adjustable-layback-seat-post-black-400-x-272-mm/ which R2 of this forum uses...its just a bit left field in looks for me! (same supplier has the Nitto stuff, so you can compare pictures)
27.2mm is the "standard" dimension for seatposts, and shims are available to fit these posts to frames with different tube sizes.
If you are determined to go down the bike swapping route, some information.....
Seat tube angle governs how far back you can get the saddle. For "average male height" one degree steeper seat tube angle pushes the saddle about 10 mm further forward. ….Are you beginning to see that just looking at top tube length is meaningless?....you have to consider seat tube angle as well.
I used to be over 5'10" in my socks, now I struggle to reach 5'9" in shoes. My saddle nose these days is about 80mm behind the BB axle, although that doesn't compare where we actually sit.
It would be useful to know the actual seat tube angle of the current bike.

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531colin
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby 531colin » 20 Jul 2019, 1:54pm

Brianjeff50 wrote:……… I know what you mean about the Shimano levers, they are indeed large and awkwardly positioned - nor especially easy to use if, like me, you have small hands. But I think I’ll trade that for not having to reach for down tube levers. …….

Brianjeff50 wrote:….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. ……….

Just a couple of afterthoughts.
If the saddle is too far forward it puts too much weight on your hands, which can itself cause shoulder/neck ache whatever reach you have. And the less weight you have on your hands the easier it is move your hands to change gear, take a drink, or whatever. If the bike handles properly, there is no need to cling grimly to the levers all the time.

reohn2
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby reohn2 » 20 Jul 2019, 2:30pm

The Humpert Vario laayyyyback seat post Colin mentions which I use,offers 50mm of laaayyyyback measured from the front edge of the seatpost tube to the front edge of the seat rail clamp.
Admittedly it doesn't win any beauty prizes but it does a great job :)
And is cheapest from here:- https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/erg ... 2mm-222225 or here:- https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/ergotec-fut ... ost-720038 and both shop's services are quick.
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RickH
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby RickH » 20 Jul 2019, 2:47pm

531colin wrote:It would be useful to know the actual seat tube angle of the current bike.

Kinesis 4S geometry.JPG
Click to enlarge
(from here)

Brianjeff50
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brianjeff50 » 21 Jul 2019, 7:31pm

I am tending to think that as I need a mini-stem and a maxi-layback seat post to get me near the right position then I’m probably on the wrong size frame.
(Especially as I have relatively normal proportions.)

Brucey
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Re: Kinesis conundrum

Postby Brucey » 21 Jul 2019, 7:43pm

Brianjeff50 wrote:I am tending to think that as I need a mini-stem and a maxi-layback seat post to get me near the right position then I’m probably on the wrong size frame.
(Especially as I have relatively normal proportions.)


I don't think that conclusion is justified; as predicted the seat angle doesn't vary much between sizes (in this case not at all, in fact) and likewise (again as predicted) the top tube varies by a footling 6mm between medium-ish sizes.

Likewise the geometry isn't unusual for this kind of bike. You may have relatively normal proportions but you may prefer a riding position for which this frame design is not intended.

My usual advice is -by hook or by crook- at least get riding position comfortable somehow on this frame (by whatever means necessary) before you take the plunge and buy another frame. Otherwise it could be another expensive mistake.

cheers
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