Fit question stretched out on the hoods

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Malaconotus
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Malaconotus » 17 Mar 2013, 12:33pm

531colin wrote:This is a shot of me labouring up a rather steep hill....actually riding the thing is probably a better indication than just posing on it leaning against a wall....?


Not sure that works for my rule of thumb. Climbing, you're pulling on the bars, and have more bend at the elbow, your head and shoulders lower?

Malaconotus
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Malaconotus » 17 Mar 2013, 12:46pm

Brucey wrote:seat too far back? I wouldn't leap to that conclusion on the basis of a photo taken with a wide angle lens. The seat angle is actually well over 74 degrees in that frame, and it really doesn't look it in the photo.


Agreed. In the new photos, side on, the saddle set back looks a little short if anything especially considering how steep the seat tube is. Colin's plumbline method should be the starting point. Get that set, and then work out where you need the bars to be.

But as Colin himself said, KOPS is just a rule of thumb, and you should go with what is comfortable. For reasons I can't fathom, I have the saddle set a few mm behind KOPS on one bike and a few mm in front on another, and both feel perfect for that bike.

Mark1978 wrote:Of course ideally I would try both back to back but as they are £40 each that's expensive!


If you are not concerned about colour match etc., good quality stems (as used by Spa on the bikes Colin has designed) can be ordered through any LBS in a range of lengths and angles... http://www.extrauk.co.uk/product/detail ... tems/2049/

Brucey
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Brucey » 17 Mar 2013, 12:59pm

IME two conditions are more compatible with a more forward saddle position, without excess weight on the hands;

1) Racing; (esp time trialling) where you are simply pushing on the pedals harder, more of the time. This still unloads the hands and wrists, even with a slightly forward saddle position.

2) A very upright position; this unloads the hands and wrists anyway; one can thus still be nicely balanced over the pedals even with the saddle a little forwards. (In extremis, think pennyfarthing riding position) .

cheers
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Mark1978
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Mark1978 » 17 Mar 2013, 1:02pm

Having just been out again. As first impressions can often be wrong. I think having the entire bars backwards by about 2cm and I should be about right. So I might try a 70mm (as opposed to 90mm) stem, and go from there...

mattsccm
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby mattsccm » 17 Mar 2013, 3:02pm

Measure cente of bars to centre of steering tube.
Throw in a bit of getting used to it as well.

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horizon
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby horizon » 17 Mar 2013, 4:07pm

mark1978: the effective (virtual, horizontal) top tube on the Madone is AFAIK slightly longer than the effective (virtual, measured to the effective top tube) seat tube. This is normal for a racing bike. Your stem isn't particularly long (looks like 100mm). However the drops will have thrown you forward about 12 cm compared to your hybrid. This is a huge difference but is justified because of the need to adopt a stretched out position for speed and efficiency. If you have bought this bike for speed, this is one of the ways you will achieve it. Varying the frame size makes no difference - the proportions are built in. You can adjust to this position over time but in the meantime make life easier with a shorter stem as others have suggested. My own take on this is that the astounding rise in the popularity of straight bars on road bikes is down to the fact that most riders don't actually want the racing position at all - just the nice bike - and the straight bars lift them back to where they would be on their old touring/hybrid bike. I would say enjoy it (in short bursts at first!).
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JohnW
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby JohnW » 17 Mar 2013, 4:55pm

The Mechanic wrote:...............I would question item 6. I have always used the rule that you put your elbow on the saddle nose and your hand at right angles to your fingers. The edge of the hand then approximates where the bars should be - maybe. There is a missing hand width in Colin's explanation. If I took Colin's rule I would have to reduce the reach of all my bikes by the roughly the width of my hand, about 4 inches.


I support Colin's item (or rule) 6. Sorry Mechanic.

The crucial relationship is between sit-bone-on-the-saddle position, not the nose of the saddle. Saddles vary in length, and saddles vary in length over their lives - that is leather saddles do. From time to time we have to re-tension leather saddles, which effectively means moving the nose further away from the rear of the saddle and towards the bars.

I have one B17 which is now three-quarters of an inch longer that my newest - and a cycling colleague has a swift (or swallow) which is now about an inch and a half longer than when it was new.

Down the years. I've found that, to get this positional relationship right is always a matter of trial and error to acheive optimum compfort - having first got as near as I can by "rule of thumb". Amazingly it can differ from bike to bike - although not by much. How do we know exactly where to measure on our sit-bones? - and how do we know exactly where that point meets the saddle?

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RickH
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby RickH » 17 Mar 2013, 5:04pm

The Mechanic wrote:I would question item 6. I have always used the rule that you put your elbow on the saddle nose and your hand at right angles to your fingers. The edge of the hand then approximates where the bars should be - maybe. There is a missing hand width in Colin's explanation. If I took Colin's rule I would have to reduce the reach of all my bikes by the roughly the width of my hand, about 4 inches.

I was considering writing similar as I have about 9cm (3.75") gap between my finger tips & the bars too.

Everything else Colin says is excellent.

My only other comment would be about the bars themselves as there are so many different shapes available these days. I would say ride the bike for some time first but think about what might improve things. In my case, after several years with some 3TTT anatomic bars, last autumn I swapped to some FSA Vero short reach (8cm), compact drops (12.5cm) any they have improved things significantly. I changed the stem for one that was a cm longer (11cm v 10cm) so the hoods are slightly closer but the tops are 1cm further away (they always felt a little too sit-up-and-beg for my liking previously, especially with the added virtual height caused by the slope on a climb) and the biggest difference is the drops are comfortable because they are shaped for a flat top position.

Rick.

Mark1978
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Mark1978 » 17 Mar 2013, 6:20pm

horizon makes some good points. I did indeed buy this as it was a 'nice bike'. I did consider a flat bar road bike for a while but want to get used to riding with drops.

The main things I want to achieve is keeping up with friends on climbs. And the bike is definitely quicker up hill. And being able to ride 60-70 miles in a day and with some comfort.

So I'm torn now between simply getting a 2cm shorter stem with the same rise or raising the handlebars with an angled stem and improving the reach at the same time. As being sat up a little more shouldn't matter as I'm not interested in racing -- even if I were the stem could be changed again.

So any idea on rises and length measurements. A lot to consider :s. one thing is that it must be white and Bontrager to match my current setup.

Pneumant
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Pneumant » 17 Mar 2013, 6:32pm

I'm stretched out on the hoods as well , really would not want it any other way. I am not stretched out on the bar tops or top-corners. Greg LeMond used to say that it was surely no worse being stretched out than being all scrunched up! I agree with him. Bending your back a bit more will hopefully relieve and unlock your arms. Try it. Oh and remember that at this time of year with multi-layered thicker winter cycling clobber on you will be less flexible than if wearing summer clothing. I would keep with your current set-up for a bit longer.

Brucey
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Brucey » 17 Mar 2013, 6:34pm

If you are going to, I'd suggest that you experiment with £10 stems of any colour, then buy a 'special' one once you know what exact size will suit you best. It'll work out expensive otherwise.

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gaz
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby gaz » 17 Mar 2013, 7:11pm

There seem to be a fair number of spacers on the steerer. Moving those around in combination with an adjustable stem would allow experimentation over a range of different reaches and heights.

Still not a cheap experiment, unless the LBS can loan one to you for this purpose.
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cycloret
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby cycloret » 17 Mar 2013, 7:45pm

Optimal saddle height is closely linked to your power output, set too low means sub-optimal power with an unnecessarily bent knee, set too high and your knees will soon complain and your pelvis will rock from side to side. I find small differences in height make a noticeable difference, too low and I feel a servant of the bike, get it right and the bike and I feel we're working together.

Probably Colin and I would arrive at the same setting. I start off with a straight leg, foot level with shoe heal on the pedal and crank arm in line with the down tube. It's not that I cycle using my instep but taking SPD pedals into account my knee is probably just as bent as in Colin's photo. Alternatively you can use the inseam x 1.09 or Lemond's method. My experience is that I usually need to adjust the saddle a bit higher than the initial setting.

I position the the STI levers fairly high up but not so high that I cant brake easily if down on the drops. Like others I have a range of stems and only finish the handlebar taping after I'm satisfied after a few test rides. Whether I've bought the right size of frame remains a doubt in my mind. Probably at my age, 67 with 35.5 inch inseam I probably make the right decision.

Mark1978
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby Mark1978 » 17 Mar 2013, 8:19pm

If my calculations are correct going from a current 7deg 90mm stem to a 17deg 75mm should give 20mm less reach and 6mm higher which seems like a good starting point.

JohnW
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Re: Fit question stretched out on the hoods

Postby JohnW » 17 Mar 2013, 8:37pm

RickH wrote:..............I was considering writing similar as I have about 9cm (3.75") gap between my finger tips & the bars too..................


....yes, but as I say, saddle lengths vary.......I have just measured the saddles on the three bikes that I have on the road at the moment, one is 280mm long, one is 292mm and one is 299mm...........my sit-bone positions are equal distances from the rear of the saddle, as far as I can measure the indentations, and sit-bone indents to front of the bends on the bars are, again as far as I can measure, the same.

The bars on one bike measure 120mm from centre-line of the tops to the front of the bends, and the other two measure 150mm.

Using the method of placing elbow on saddle nose and touching the bar's top with the finger ends will give lengths (i.e. sit-bone to front of bars, or wherever you prefer your hands to rest) varying by 50mm - 2" in old money. That's a lot of difference!

I repeat Colin's assertion, that the saddle (sit-bone position) to pedal dimension is crucial, and set the bars from the saddle, when the saddle's in it's optimum position........but, with saddle length and bars projection being variable, you'll not get it right if you consider saddle nose to bars-top as being a fixed dimension.

Rick - if your bars are now in the correct position for you, and if you were to replace your bars with new ones which had a different projection, then the distance that you quote would be different and to get the resting position for your hands correct again (assuming that they're correct now), you'd have to change to a different stem.

I've edited this because my calculation figures were wrong - I've corrected them now - at least I hope I have!
Last edited by JohnW on 17 Mar 2013, 9:49pm, edited 1 time in total.