Bike Fit for a Shorter Guy

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by ASchMatt, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. ASchMatt

    ASchMatt New Member

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    I Have a local bike shop in town that does group rides during the spring and summer. I've seen them on the weekends on my way back from work and it looks like loads of fun, I've been looking for something else to keep my mind off of school and work when I need it.

    The problem is I'm 5' 7" and even on a 52cm bike my feet barely reach the ground and it is difficult to get started again after I have stopped. It always seems to set me back when I'm looking at bikes at my local bike shops.

    I really dont feel like giving up before i've even started, and would really like some advice.
     
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  2. BrianTX

    BrianTX New Member

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    Try this link to get an idea of what size frame you need. Fitment is very important for a comfortable ride. I'm 5'7" and a 52cm fits me perfect. But you might have a shorter inseam and a longer torso. The LBS is a very good place to try out the bikes to get a feel for what you need. IMO the most important measurement is your inseam and the stand over height of the top tube.

    http://bicycling.about.com/od/howtoride/a/bike_sizing.htm
     
  3. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    My feet barely reach the ground too and I'm almost 6'.

    The thing is, touching the ground isn't how you set your seat height. A good rule of thumb is to get the bike moving and then put both of your heels on the pedals. If you can turn the cranks such that your legs go fully straight at maximum extension without your body rocking from side to side then you've got a good starting point for seat height.

    Why is it difficult to get started again? Don't you change to a lower gear as you're coming to a stop?
     
  4. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    Your feet should not be able to touch the ground if you are in the saddle. As mentioned above for a proper fit your leg should be almost fully extended at the bottom of your pedal stroke. So if you pedal is 4 inches of the ground your foot should be around 3 on a mtb with a higher bottom bracket this is even more evident.
    When you stop you can lean to the side and reach your toe down so that you are on your tip toes. If you are not comfortable with this just get of the saddle and straddle the frame. After a while you wont even think about it.
     
  5. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    +1

    and I agree with the poster above who suggested that you shift into an easier gear before you come to a stop. Shift down two "clicks" and you should be good to go. If you are in too hard of a gear (a cruising gear) then starting from a stop will feel like pedaling through mud!
     
  6. ChrisRg

    ChrisRg New Member

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  7. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

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    Hi, ASchMatt, and welcome!

    This forum is a great place to get help for any problems new cyclists are having (aside from certain rare posters who seem to get their jollies from making fun of people with bike-mounting difficulties). I should know it's a great place, because I've only been riding since August and posting here since October, and they have helped me enormously.

    I'm also 5'7', and was having FITS getting on my new hybrid and getting started because my feet don't touch the ground, either. I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one, and it seems to give some of us more problems than others.

    What finally helped me was that I watched videos on YouTube on how to get on your bike. Here's a link to the one I watched most often: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5SjHvHDuxg&feature=related I'll bet I watched it 50 times, paying attention to every detail: what she did with her arms, how long before she actually moves back toward the seat, etc., What finally seems to have made the difference for me was noticing where she put the pedal, at about the 9:00 position. I had been trying to start on mine with the pedal much higher, and that was a lot more difficult for me. The other thing was that I was trying to sit down too soon; now, I make sure both feet are moving on the pedals before I sit down. Since I figured those things out, I've had no trouble mounting my bike, after nearly a month of stumbling around trying.

    So please don't give up! Once you get over this hurdle (and you will), you'll have such fun. And it is the PERFECT way to get your mind off school and work and just relax, because it's not only good stress relief, but it's good for you and fun.

    Let us know how you're doing. I'll look forward to your posts, and we can all encourage each other.

    Sierra
     
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