A sort of crampted feeling!

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Bill Reynolds
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A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby Bill Reynolds » 18 Feb 2017, 9:00am

Recently I purchased a new cheap MTB from my local cycle shop with the intent of converting it to a touring cycle. Up to now I have always had 22" sized frames even though I have short legs for my 6 foot height! This time I brought a 18" frame but on testing the bike when it was finished I felt get a sort of 'cramped' and 'sqeezeded-in' (sp.) feeling so to speak! My local cycle shop tells me... (I think) that smaller frames are smaller all round.....is this view correct???

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Re: A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby CREPELLO » 18 Feb 2017, 9:26am

You probably have a relatively long upper body giving you a long reach. Going down to 18" would give a shorter top tube than a 22" (probably much shorter), although MTB's are usually designed with longer reach than road bikes. What made you change from your usual size?

What stem length do you have on the bike now? A longer stem could sort the issue out.

Samuel D
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Re: A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby Samuel D » 18 Feb 2017, 9:31am

Smaller frames are usually smaller all around. So they usually have a shorter top tube, shorter stem, etc.

If you have short legs for your height, you will tend to prefer a large frame so that the bicycle is long enough for your long torso. I’m the opposite, with a short torso for my height. Therefore I find I need a fairly small frame, so that it’s short enough for me.

That said, stem length (and angle/height) can accommodate a lot of frame differences.

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Re: A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby foxyrider » 18 Feb 2017, 11:34am

Didn't you try it for fit before you bought?

Cheap atb's are a mixed bag mostly with little thought to rider fit, i've seen all shapes and set ups from stupidly short to extremely long. It doesn't always follow that small will be short and vis a vis large.

At 6ft i'd have thought 20" would give you more chance of a reasonable fit whilst still benefiting from a lower standover.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Re: A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby pwa » 18 Feb 2017, 11:46am

You need to work out where the problem lies.

First, make sure the saddle is positioned correctly in relation to the pedals / bottom bracket. What do I mean by "correctly"? Well, exactly as on a bike that you know to feel right. Taking that older bike with an established good position, work out how far the sit-bone section of the saddle is behind a vertical line rising from the bottom bracket. Replicate this on the new bike. Also raise or lower the saddle so that the sit bone area is the same height above the pedals (with crank in line with the seat tube) as on your good position bike. When all that is done, and checked, move on to the question of reach to the bars. If you still feel cramped you probably need a longer stem.

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Re: A sort of crampted feeling!

Postby Threevok » 18 Feb 2017, 3:15pm

Sounds like you are exactly in the same boat as me - 6ft tall but most of the height is in the torsoe, not the legs

I have found 18" (or 19" with some manufactures/models) is the best fit, but you need to run a longer stem and wider bars.

I run a 110mm stem on the GT - with XC riser bars -cut to 760mm

I run 90mm stem on the Virtue with wider (uncut) XC riser Bars at 800mm, as I ride this a bit more aggressively.

I leanback seatpost may also help, but whatever you decide, try to keep to the advice that pwa mentioned, regarding the correct position in relation to the bottom bracket