did i buy the wrong size bike?....

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by newbiker2012, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Adjusting the saddle position should have nothing to do with compensating for reach. The only thing that should determine this factor is the relationship to the pedals.
     


  2. schristie11

    schristie11 New Member

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    To: danfoz, I dont really get what you mean here, but I'm not going to debate it.

    I bet that a good bike tech could coach him on what to adjust in person better than we are over the internet.

    My real point is that if the rider is uncomfortable on the bike even after making adjustments, he needs to return the bike.


     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Yer still on the 90mm stem, try an 80. Nothing bad can happen. Sometimes closer can feel more comfortable (and feel more upright), sometimes not.

    One way to think about things. Sometimes we don't know what is correct until we have gone too far. I.e. saddle height for instance. Sometimes raising 2mm feels better, another 2mm even better, 2 more and the whole thing falls apart and it now feels too high. Knowing what is too much can sometimes asist in what is just the right amount.

    Maybe you discover it is too short and the 90mm actually felt better. Based on your comments regarding the trek with both sizes feeling better though, if indeed the saddle height/handlebar height ratio is smaller, then the more upright stem may be the answer. As mentioned before we don't need big changes to feel big differences. Sometimes it's just a matter of mm.

    PS - going from a 6 to a 10 rise (flipped) will be a handlebar height increase of about 5mm. Substantial enough to feel and affect the handling of the bike. Too upright and forget poorer aerodynamics (really only important for a race or TT) but the riders center of gravity changes and the bike could start to handle like crap... just another thought.
     
  4. schristie11

    schristie11 New Member

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    Another note, you might consider trying on the bike a set of Aero bars or Triathlon bars.
    Leaning forward on them may help find the right placement for your seat and also show you if the size of the frame is too long.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Bar height DOES change the effective reach ...

    Regardless, pausing for a moment & considering how this thread seems to have evolved, despite originally lamenting the possibility of needing to pony up for new frame-or-bike in-the-beginning & seeming to gird yourself to the possibility, YOU now seem reluctant to actually buy a new stem -- figure $20-to-$30 (or, less if you are a wise shopper) on eBay -- to resolve your current fit problem ...

    OR, were you indicating that you ARE actually going to consider a different stem?

    • I don't know why you seem to be considering a longer ("forward") stem.

    FWIW. This is probably stating the obvious, but it is apparently worth repeating -- comfort & flexibility may dictate a different setup for different individuals ... individuals with the same dimensions, that is ...

    I'm 5'9" tall. The picture (from five years ago) of the following 52x54.5 (c-c) PEUGEOT is set up close-to-the-same-as-possible as all my other bikes.

    [​IMG]

    The stem is 120mm & I rotated the handlebars because of how I wanted the actual drops to feel + to accommodate the REACH ...

    • if I had wanted the ends of the bars to be horizontal, then I would have chosen a shorter stem
    • some people prefer a GREATER difference between the top of the saddle & the brakes-and-handlebars
    • some people prefer LESS difference between the top of the saddle & the brakes-and-handlebars
    • because I have some different width & style handlebars on different bikes AND since I feel as though I have determined the most efficient orientation on my bike(s), then AFTER I determine the saddle position relative to the pedals, I measure from the middle of the rear of the saddle to the rear of the "horn" on the brake lever to ensure that 'new' setups are as close to the same as possible N.B. different width handlebars will affect the effective reach
    [*] BTW, I tried the above setup with a 130mm stem, and the meagre 10mm difference was just too much ...

    THAT's a long prelude to saying that many years ago I set up one of my unused frames for the son of a friend of my wife's when he was stationed here. He's 5'10" and he certainly considered himself to be reasonably fit at the time ...

    Despite setting up the particular bike with a SHORTER (80mm) stem than is my preference, when he first got on the bike he thought that he was in a full aero position despite being even more upright than you (newbiker2012) pictured your riding position to be!

    While a stem which is only 10mm shorter may eventually be the ideal length for YOU, it is MY recommendation that you consider buying a significantly shorter stem (e.g. 60mm +/-) to facilitate acclimation to the Drop handlebars ....

    • of course, if you get a 70mm stem then if you find that it is too short & the 90mm remains too long, then you will know that an 80mm stem might eventually work well for you ...
    • what works well one year may seem too long or too short in a subsequent year
     
  6. Dr Lodge

    Dr Lodge New Member

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    I just watched the video and you "look" about right on that size bike, although something about your posture isn't quite right. Whilst you don't appear to be over stretched, you don't look too comfortable either. May be you just need to get used to the new posture.

    There are a couple of things I noticed that you might want to try:
    - your legs aren't that extended at the bottom of the stroke. Now I know your legs shouldn't be straight, but you could try raising your saddle a little. Sitting on the saddle, with one leg straight and the pedal at the bottom of the stroke, your foot should just slide underneath the pedal. If it goes under very easily with a gap, your saddle is probably too low.
    - The brake hoods seem quite far forward/down. You could try rotating the handle bars up to bring the hoods up and nearer to you, or possibly reposition the brake levers/hood.

    I still stand by my previous comment - get that fitting appointment sorted and take it to the shop.
     
  7. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    thanks for all the replies guys

    before i get into my ride tonite, i would like your opinions on my fork.... after changing my stem, the top of the fork tube appears it has already been cut!!!! i may be wrong so i want to confirm this before i go back to the lbs tomorrow

    how many spacers comes on a stock tarmac? mine has small spacer and two smaller spacers

    the top of the tube looks like i has been cut as there is not a straight edge on both sides... i will post a bigger pic later but how much fork tube should protrude above the head tube? mine has just enought for the stem to be placed on and if any spacers were removed, it would be basically no rise left at all!!!

    i am upset b/c i sat on a 54cm trek today and it felt more comfy and better than my tarmac cause the reach was far less even tho it supposedly has a longer top tube

    do you think this has been cut? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    i am posting a link to my photobucket... more hq pics of my stem... as you can see from the pics, there is wear on either side of the tube suggesting it has been cut

    in the last pic, i laid the stem on the head tube and it shows the amount of adjustment i would have with no spacers..... does that seem like stock?

    i really hope the stem has been cut cause that then i can go back to the lbs and force them to gimme a new fork or a new bike

    its hard to tell but if you look at the pics, you can see the edges of the metal look worn and its not a sharp edge

    again, anyone else wit ha 2010 tarmac 52cm... how hi was your stem? how many spacers come stock on the bike? mine came with two tiny spacers and 1 larger one

    also, if you look at the pic where i put the stem on, there is just a bit of expposed tube, not really that much it would seem to me the bike would come stock wit h more adjustment than this

    can anyone confirm?

    thanks

    http://s730.photobucket.com/albums/ww301/miker2008_photo/
     
  9. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    I think this may be a big factor in the situation. (Not to take anything away from the suggestions.) I am not really qualified in any technical way to judge your fit and riding position, but it looks reasonable to me. Getting a fitting certainly can't hurt but maybe you need to get more riding on a road bike under your belt to get used to the body position.

    I have a road bike and a cyclocross bike and the reach is about an inch longer on the road bike and the bars are lower in relation to the saddle too. And since the BB on the cyclocross bike is higher, everything else is also higher on it thus shifting my center of gravity higher. I really don't have any problem adjusting when switching between them. So what I'm getting at is I think the human body is fairly adaptable and there isn't one exact setup that will miraculously be perfect for you.

    One other thing about the stem mounting height and thus the bar height. I have a neck problem that made it hard for me to have the bars low and still tilt my head back so I could see. But riding drop bars has stretched my neck. I have been able to lower the bars over time from about the height you are currently at. I'm 60 and not the most flexible person anymore (I'm trying to improve on this) and I think if I can have the bars lower than yours, you will have no problem with your current bar height after just a bit of riding time. (Assuming you don't have any physical issues.)

    As for your photos... I don't have a Tarmac, but I don't think most good road bikes come with longer steerer tubes and it all looks set up about right to me. (both of mine were similar.) Most bikes have just a couple of spacers and eventually you might lower the bar and put the spacers on top.

    I am qualified to give this professional advice to your cameraman... video is almost always shot in a horizontal format.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Remember that when you're riding the hoods and the hoods are level with the saddle, it really isn't like riding drop bars.

    A funny story. A middle-aged fellow came to to the shop to test ride a Trek (Gary Fisher) Cronus, which has a slightly extended head tube. As I prepped the bike he requested I flip the stem down and slam it (move all the spacers to the top). "Most of our customers are always asking how we can make the bar higher," I joked to him while I worked on the bike. "Well I'm from France," he replied, as if that explained everything I needed to know.
     
  11. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    lol.... hopefully with increased fitness and time in the saddle i will do the same with my stem..... i guess i dont really know what to do with my hands on the hoods and because i was getting a little numbness early on, it made me instantly feel like there was a problem so i guess i just assumed something was wrong with my position

    i figured out the whole spacer/stem thing..... 20mm spacers was stock from the factory so nothing was cut.... also, i had the stem in the -deg position not the +deg... changed it to +16, stem looks and feels alot better now but i wont know till i try it... it is pointed quite high upwards but i want to try and get comfy in that position before lowering it... ave read that you can have 30-40mm of spacers installed so i may actually ask the lbs if we can add another 5mm to raise the bars just a tad more

    i love the bike, i know it sounds like i dont but being a smaller guy i have always had a small mans complex when it comes to buying stuff, always afraid of being improperly fitted i guess... the bike feels awesome, super smooth yet really stiff... i have been on it everyday since i got it and with the exception of the arms feeling a tad extended, i have really enjoyed every second of it and just want to get it fitted so i can enjoy it to its fullest.... rode 65 miles last couple days, it has been really satisfying and exhilirating

    cant wait to see where this bike takes me.... thanks again for everyones help, i will update the thread when i get it fitted and let you know how it feels
     
  12. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    That sounds about right for a factory built bike. It's rare for a frame to come with a pre-cut steerer but standard for a fully assembled bike.

    PS. If the stem is at the top of the stack, you would have to get a new fork to add the distance if you want to go higher (and have less steerer chopped from the new fork), but something important to consider - most bike/fork manufactures recommend no more than 30mm of spacers on a 1-1/8" carbon steerer tube and 20mm on a 1" before they can't garantee the integrity of the fork under duress. Forks w/alloy steerer tubes usually don't come with such a recommendation.

    Sounds like things are starting to come together...
     
  13. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    just wanted to update the thread...... thanks for all the replies, much appreciated

    well, after alot of adjustments and reading about bike fit and taking my bike into the LBS, i finally have got a fit i am very comfortable with

    first of all, my biggest mistake was, of all things, cleat placement... when i got my shoes i bolted the cleat all the way to the front of the shoe, not aware of the effect i was having on my everything from reach to saddle placement.... so i wasent putting any power down to the pedals and was forcing my lower body away from the front of the bike..... so i moved them towards the heel and it feels great, i have very small feet so this gets the ball of the foot over the pedal spindle... this change was the biggest most positive change that i made, it was like night and day difference

    second, my saddle was too low... i think this was keeping my weigth too low on the bike

    third, the bars were too high and was creating a really weird feeling with the seat low and the bars high

    so i raised my saddle, lowered the bars and moved the cleats all the way back..... results were awesome

    then went into the LBS and got a 750mm stem to try (stock is 900mm) just to see if the stem was too long.... with the 750 stem, my knees were almost hitting bars, was way too small... so it was a good experiment to realize that the 900mm stem was just right

    finally, i realized also i was sitting too far back on the saddle and that also was exacerbating the other issues so i am sitting more forward on the saddle now...... add it all up and the bike is fitting like a glove..... i still have work to do on saddle position to make it perfect but its good for now... i will post some pics later to show you all where i am at

    thanks for all the help

    michael
     
  14. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Good going. Sometimes asking questions gets you more helpful answers than just buying stuff.
     
  15. bikefactory

    bikefactory New Member

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    Cycling everyday is a good exercise. If it is not suitable to us it will injure to us. May be that create problems in your neck, back and legs. So always use right size of bike.
     
  16. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    just wanted to bump this thread and thank everyone for their advice.... hopefully new bike buyers will look at this thread and not go thru what i have.....

    bottomline, i sold the bike.... didnt fit me at all, it is at least a size maybe two too big for me... i have pretty decent flexibility and fitness so that allowed me to try and convince myself the bike was ok for me, but it wasent

    if i tried to adjust the reach for comfort sitting, it was not right standing, and vice versa..... i never was able to get my knees over the pedal spindle properly, the bike had too much reach and stack... most noticeable when out of the saddle, the pedal spindle would go further away then my leg would allow so i would have to shuffle the fame under me to compensate

    my inseam is 28.5" (74) and my heigth is 5"3 (160cm) and i have short arms and torso... clearly a 52cm frame is too big, especially with the long top tube that the tarmac has (53.9cm).... lets face it, to move the seat all the way fwd and to put a small stem on a bike that you purchased brand new makes very little sense, especially considering it was never going to fit the way it should

    so i am not back to square one, and i will never do business again with that pathetic excuse for a shop that sold me the tarmac.... but i have fallen in love with road cycling and am going to buy a new bike tomorrow.... i am looking at a 48cm caad 10 or maybe a synapse in 48cm... i was looking at trek but most of their bikes start at 50cm... in any event, i am going to road test a 48 and 50

    if there are any riders with similar heigth and inseam measurerments that want to chime in with advice, it would be much appreciated

    thanks for all your help.... i tried to make the bike work but everytime i mentioned it to the "shop" that sold it to me, they wanted to put a longer stam on it!!!! reason is b/c i had to scrunch myself fwd to reach the bars so it looked like the bike was too small.... i took a big loss selling it but i didnt want to deal with the shop trying to fit me to a frame that is too large just cause they cant admit they screwed up and clearly know nothing about bike fitting.... lol, the salesman told me "stop wrenching it and ride it" because i was always making changes trying to correct the improper fit!!!!

    bottomline to new bike buyers, if you are unsure of a road bike fit, get advice from the shop and then get a second opinion and search the internet BEFORE you buy, not after like i did.... lesson learned, i will never make the same mistake again
     
  17. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    went to the cannondale dealer today..... going for a fitting and a test ride on the caad 10 tomorrow.... i thought to myself, what a novel approach, actually fitting someone on the bike and letting them ride it BEFORE they buy (tell me if you can sense the sarcasm)

    i am not sure how i will like the caad 10.... my heart says buy it or a super six but my head says i would be better off on a synapse..... having said that, its not like i am looking to ride super long rides or tours or anything..... i like to ride 40-60 km rides in the evenings at a quick pace and a longer ride on the weekends, i like to push myself and the bike and i was thinking the caad 10 would be a good fit? my tarmac was carbon so i am wondering if the caad 10 will have the dampening i have gotten used to? i will know tomorrow....

    they are fitting me on a size 48 (compared to a 52 on the tarmac!!lol) and from sitting on it on a trainer, it fits like a glove..... i can just tell that i am in the correct position and the reach to the bars feels so natural and aggresive, not at all like the chasm i had to reach over to get my hands on the tarmac (top tube on the caad 10 is over 3cm shorter)... my whole body feels so balanced on the bike, its going to take me a while to get used to it as i put over 1000kms on the tarmac and fought the bike the whole time.... also, i feel so on top of the pedals, a feeling i never had on the tarmac, it felt more like i was riding a recumbent bike!!!!

    if i decide to go with the caad 10, i am thinking of going with the dura ace version for the rs80 wheels as an upgrade..... would they be a good wheel for me or does anyone think the ultegra with a proper upgraded wheel would be a better choice? my tarmac had mavic cxp which i can refer to as a couple of boat anchors.... are the rs 80 good wheels for should for a mid level wheel or should i look elsewhere?

    i am excited mostly about getting a bike that fits me more than anything.... any thoughts from someone who went from carbon back to aluminum? will i miss the carbon? would i be better off not spending my money on better components like the dura ace has (wheels and carbon crank) and instead buying a carbon frmae with lesser components (like a super six with 105)?

    thanks
     
  18. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    The tarmac is not on the plush side of CF frames, the CAAD is not on the harsh side of alu frames.

    If the bike rides well and works for you it doesn't matter what it's made of. From a weight standpoint, as Cannondale themselves say, the CAAD is on par weight-wise with many CF frames.
     
  19. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +17.
     
  20. newbiker2012

    newbiker2012 New Member

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    thats what i was thinking, i will update my thoughts after the test ride tomorrow..... i was wondering how the tarmac rates vis a vis comfort and dampening compared to other carbon bikes, i cant compare cause i have never rode any other carbon frames

    if i go with the caad 10, i can get better wheel/crank/components (dura ace) versus the synapse/super 6 where i wont have the budget for wheels and components (105)

    i really want to make the right choice this time around so i am going to take my time.... the dealer does not have a super 6 or a synapse in my size to try so i guess if i like the geomety of the caad 10 but not the ride, i would go with the super 6 instead.... if i want a more relaxed geometry, ill go for the synapse
     
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