Fit kit experience

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Billx, May 6, 2003.

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  1. Billx

    Billx Guest

    I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and femur
    lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply measured my
    crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a bike that felt
    extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the knee
    cap and elbow?
     
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  2. > I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    > femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    > measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a
    > bike that
    felt
    > extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the
    > knee cap and elbow?

    What's wrong is to take the fit measurements and not verify their applicability to the particular
    cyclist. The FitKit is a great place to start, and gets the majority of people very close to where
    they need to be, sometimes spot on. But not everybody. The person taking the measurements should be
    watching the person ride, checking out their back (straight or arched... arched can be a symptom of
    many issues that need to be addressed), making sure their arms aren't locked, etc. Flexibility
    varies from person to person; you might be able to ride a bit lower than the average person, and
    thus possibly the cramped feeling.

    Femur length can be mesured using the FitKit, but most often isn't an issue if someone's also doing
    a plumb line for knee-over-pedal.

    But really, like any measurement, it's a starting point. Anybody who tells you they can fit you
    perfectly with measurements alone, particularly static ones, isn't doing a great job. Having said
    that, they're still doing more for their customers than 90% of the shops out there. I'm going to
    break something the next time I hear someone come in saying that they've been told they have to have
    their nose in a particular place over the front axle.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

    "BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    > femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    > measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a
    > bike that
    felt
    > extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the
    > knee cap and elbow?
     
  3. Psycholist

    Psycholist Guest

    I've come to learn over years of messing with bike fit that I'm rather long in the torso relative to
    my legs. When I bought a rather high-end frame from an allegedly high-end shop a few years back,
    they charged me $45 for a fit kit which they allegedly refunded in the price of the bike they sold
    me. As the years have gone by and I've learned more about bike fit, I've learned what a disservice
    that bike shop did. While I was fine on the frame from a saddle height and standover standpoint (how
    many of us rack ourselves on our top tubes?). I was cramped because the top tube was too short. So
    they kept putting me on longer and longer stems. This story could go on and on. To make it short, I
    finally learned what I needed on my own and assembled a bike that now fits me like a glove. I can
    ride 100 miles and it's just as comfortable as if I had only done 20. But I've really studied the
    stuff. I think as Mike Jacoubowsky said, the fit kit is a good starting point if you happen to have
    it done at one of the 10% of those shops that know how to really use it and what else needs to be
    taken into account.

    This is just an aside, but it just came to mind. I've never had a fit kit or a bike shop person or
    anyone ever mention handlebar width to me. One day I was on a friend's bike. He's the same height as
    me. His bars were much wider than mine and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable they were.
    So I started researching handlebar width and discovered I needed to make a drastic change. When I
    did, I couldn't believe the dramatic difference it made in my comfort on the bike ... and my power
    in out-of-saddle efforts, etc. I hardly ever see or hear anyone talk about bar width ... but it can
    be a very significant thing.

    FWIW, Bob C. "BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    > femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    > measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a
    > bike that
    felt
    > extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the
    > knee cap and elbow?
     
  4. > This is just an aside, but it just came to mind. I've never had a fit kit or a bike shop person or
    > anyone ever mention handlebar width to me. One
    day
    > I was on a friend's bike. He's the same height as me. His bars were much wider than mine and I
    > couldn't believe how much more comfortable they
    were.
    > So I started researching handlebar width and discovered I needed to make a drastic change. When I
    > did, I couldn't believe the dramatic difference it made in my comfort on the bike ... and my power
    > in out-of-saddle efforts, etc. I hardly ever see or hear anyone talk about bar width ... but it
    > can be a very significant thing.

    The FitKit measurements do include shoulder width, for help in determining appropriate handlebar
    width. Perhaps some shops ignore it? That's unfortunate since bar width can make quite a difference
    in comfort and out-of-the-saddle climbing. Back in the day there wasn't much choice; nearly all bars
    were Cinelli 64s, with a 40cm width. But over time we've found that wider bars are definitely an
    advantage for bigger folk, and I could never go back to narrow bars now that I'm "spoiled" by 44cm
    width (and I don't even have shoulders... more like ski slopes!).

    It's almost painful for me to see some guy come in with an older bike, big broad shoulders and a
    39cm wide bar. I guess if you don't know any better, it's not that big a deal, but once you get
    someone on appropriate-width bars, they're blown away by the difference.

    While we're on handlebars, another issue that comes up at times are bars with too much forward
    reach. Since STI came along, bars like that don't make a lot of sense. They were designed with the
    idea that you wanted an aggressive position when you were out on the brake hoods, and a more relaxed
    position up on top (the straight part of the bar). Trouble is, with STI, you spend a lot of time on
    the lever hoods, so that really needs to be comfortable position for long periods of time. If you
    shorten the stem to accomplish that, then the top part is way too close. The solution is to shorten
    up the reach, so you have more useable hand positions, without sacrificing comfort. If you want to
    get aggressive, go for the drops.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  5. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:LZ%[email protected]s.prodigy.com...
    > > This is just an aside, but it just came to mind. I've never had a fit
    kit
    > > or a bike shop person or anyone ever mention handlebar width to me. One
    > day
    > > I was on a friend's bike. He's the same height as me. His bars were
    much
    > > wider than mine and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable they
    > were.
    > > So I started researching handlebar width and discovered I needed to make
    a
    > > drastic change. When I did, I couldn't believe the dramatic difference
    it
    > > made in my comfort on the bike ... and my power in out-of-saddle
    efforts,
    > > etc. I hardly ever see or hear anyone talk about bar width ... but it
    can
    > > be a very significant thing.
    >
    > The FitKit measurements do include shoulder width, for help in determining appropriate handlebar
    > width. Perhaps some shops ignore it? That's unfortunate since bar width can make quite a
    > difference in comfort and out-of-the-saddle climbing. Back in the day there wasn't much choice;
    > nearly all bars were Cinelli 64s, with a 40cm width. But over time we've found that wider bars are
    > definitely an advantage for bigger folk, and I could never go back to narrow bars now that I'm
    > "spoiled" by 44cm width
    (and
    > I don't even have shoulders... more like ski slopes!).
    >
    > It's almost painful for me to see some guy come in with an older bike, big broad shoulders and a
    > 39cm wide bar. I guess if you don't know any
    better,
    > it's not that big a deal, but once you get someone on appropriate-width bars, they're blown away
    > by the difference.
    >
    > While we're on handlebars, another issue that comes up at times are bars with too much forward
    > reach. Since STI came along, bars like that don't make a lot of sense. They were designed with the
    > idea that you wanted an aggressive position when you were out on the brake hoods, and a more
    relaxed
    > position up on top (the straight part of the bar). Trouble is, with STI, you spend a lot of time
    > on the lever hoods, so that really needs to be comfortable position for long periods of time. If
    > you shorten the stem to accomplish that, then the top part is way too close. The solution is to
    > shorten up the reach, so you have more useable hand positions, without sacrificing comfort. If you
    > want to get aggressive, go for the drops.
    >
    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
    >
    I have a few pair of Ritchey Pro bars that have an "extra" 5mm of reach built in. Makes up for my TT
    being 5mm too short...

    Mike
     
  6. BillX-<< I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia
    and femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances.

    Then it was a poor fit, IMO.(It's called a humerous-sp?)...Femur length is essential, inseam is
    meaningless w/o this measurement as it determines seat tube ANGLE.

    << Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the knee cap and elbow?

    Maybe 'fit kit', but a good anatomic fit does not ignore these measurements.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  7. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I recently had a custom Litespeed frame designed. FWIW, the Litespeed custom frame designer
    mentioned that the fit kit tends to specify a top tube length that's too short. Having said that,
    the fit kit suggested a top tube length for me that was correct.

    I liked the method my LBS used to apply the fit kit. They first measured crotch height, shoulder
    width and torso height (maybe some other things), but not smaller measurements on arms or legs. They
    then did a "sanity check" of the fit kit's measurements against my current bike and a stock
    Litespeed I test rode, and adjusted those measurements based on those bikes, my riding style and the
    goals of the new bike.

    "BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    > femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    > measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a bike
    > that felt extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances
    > between the knee cap and elbow?
     
  8. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Wed, 07 May 2003 01:34:04 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >But really, like any measurement, it's a starting point. Anybody who tells you they can fit you
    >perfectly with measurements alone, particularly static ones, isn't doing a great job. Having said
    >that, they're still doing more for their customers than 90% of the shops out there. I'm going to
    >break something the next time I hear someone come in saying that they've been told they have to
    >have their nose in a particular place over the front axle.
    >

    I posted this here over four years ago and just found it via google. I've verified some of the links
    are still valid.

    "While I see you've received a number of other responses, my best advice would be to read
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame_sizing.html. Then follow the links at the bottom of the page. By
    the time you're finished you'll know more about bike fit than 95% of LBS employees."

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  9. Todd Kuzma

    Todd Kuzma Guest

    Heck, a number of years ago, Gary Klein wrote an article about fitting people using nothing but
    *height*. Don't believe that ANY given fitting system is going to provide a 100% solution. What most
    do is give you a good starting point. A fitter with lots of experience with different types of
    riders can fine tune a position from there, but even that is not an exact science.

    Consider this. Lance Armstrong worked with numerous coaches over the years to fine tune his time
    trial position. It wasn't until he went into the wind tunnel with equipment for measuring power
    output and heartrate did he find his best position. It turned out that if he was positioned for the
    best aerodynamics, his power output was reduced. If he was positioned for best power output, his
    aerodynamics suffered. If you look at his time trial position today, it is far from conventional.
    His back is quite humped rather than flat. It just goes to show you.

    So which bike fitter do you know with a wind tunnel and all of the appopriate measurement equipment
    to do this type of fitting? That truth is, much of bike fit is subjective. I know all of my fit data
    pretty well, but with each new bike I get, I take a bunch of wrenches along on the first few rides
    to fine tune my position based on how it feels. It's difficult for any fitter to know just how you
    feel in any given position. So, it's a two-way street. You need to communicate with your fitter, and
    the two of you have to work together to get the best position.

    Todd Kuzma Heron Bicycles Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
    http://www.heronbicycles.com http://www.tullios.com
     
  10. > Then it was a poor fit, IMO.(It's called a humerous-sp?)...Femur length is essential, inseam is
    > meaningless w/o this measurement as it determines
    seat
    > tube ANGLE.

    It doesn't determined seat tube angle, it determines setback of the saddle from the crank. The only
    reason it's relevant to seat tube angle is that, if the saddle needs to be positioned way forward,
    and your bike has a slack seat tube angle, you have just eaten into some of your top tube length
    (which could be a good or bad thing, depending upon what you need). Or vice versa (if you need the
    saddle way back, you've essentially lengthened the top tube over the published spec).

    If I had my way, top tube lengths would be measured from a point centered over the bottom bracket.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > BillX-<< I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that
    it
    > didn't measure my tibia and femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called)
    > lengths. Rather it simply measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances.
    >
    > Then it was a poor fit, IMO.(It's called a humerous-sp?)...Femur length is essential, inseam is
    > meaningless w/o this measurement as it determines
    seat
    > tube ANGLE.
    >
    >
    > << Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the knee cap
    > and elbow?
    >
    > Maybe 'fit kit', but a good anatomic fit does not ignore these
    measurements.
    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  11. > I liked the method my LBS used to apply the fit kit. They first measured crotch height, shoulder
    > width and torso height (maybe some other things), but not smaller measurements on arms or legs.
    > They then did a "sanity check" of the fit kit's measurements against my current bike and a stock
    > Litespeed I test rode, and adjusted those measurements based on those bikes, my riding style and
    > the goals of the new bike.

    And if the person has done a lot of fits, that's fine. I can look at somebody standing near me and
    nine times out of ten get a pretty good idea how the person's going to be sized (assuming they're
    not wearing baggy clothing or a dress). That's just because I've done it so many thousands of times.
    Experience fitting people will always trump "systems." Combine the two and you've got the ideal.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  12. Someone wrote:

    > I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    > femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    > measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances.

    P.C. responded:

    > Then it was a poor fit, IMO.(It's called a humerous-sp?)...Femur length is essential, inseam is
    > meaningless w/o this measurement as it determines seat tube ANGLE.

    You can certainly make that case if he was being fitted for a new frame.
    The femur length is, indeed, related to the preferred seat tube angle.

    If he was being fitted to an existing bike, however, this is irrelevant, since you can't change the
    seat tube angle on most frames.

    Femur length does enter into saddle setback, but the usual reference point for this is to look at
    the vertical relationship between the knee and the forward pedal. You don't need to measure the
    femur for this.

    > << Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the knee cap
    > and elbow?
    >
    > Maybe 'fit kit', but a good anatomic fit does not ignore these measurements.

    I fail to see any relevant fit issue relating to the proportional length of the different bones of
    the arm, though the overall arm length is very important indeed.

    Sheldon "FitKit Plus Experience And An Educated Eye" Brown
    +------------------------------------------------+
    | According to the latest official figures, | 43% of all statistics are totally worthless. |
    +------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  13. Ajames54

    Ajames54 Guest

    >FWIW, Bob C. "BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> I had a fit kit done a couple months ago and was surprised that it didn't measure my tibia and
    >> femur lengths or radius and upper arm (whatever that bone is called) lengths. Rather it simply
    >> measured my crotch to foot and hand to shoulder blade distances. The end result put me on a
    >> bike that
    >felt
    >> extremely cramped. Is it normal for the fit kit to ignore the limb length variances between the
    >> knee cap and elbow?
    >>
    >>
    >
    I have not touched a fit kit in something like twelve years, and it was an old kit when I got it...
    ... that being said ... the kit I'm familiar with did indeed include all of those measurements... as
    well as shoulder width, the size of your hand and the size of your foot and others... after messing
    with stacks of paper, each page full of tables it would recommend a range of sizes and angles for
    tubes/stem/cranks et cetera...

    OK it was a tight range but the shop was supposed to work with the riders riding style to
    finalize things...

    It was a real PITA .. We got a Serrota fit cycle as soon as I could afford it...
     
  14. Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > The FitKit measurements do include shoulder width, for help in determining appropriate handlebar
    > width. Perhaps some shops ignore it? That's unfortunate since bar width can make quite a
    > difference in comfort and out-of-the-saddle climbing. Back in the day there wasn't much choice;
    > nearly all bars were Cinelli 64s, with a 40cm width. But over time we've found that wider bars are
    > definitely an advantage for bigger folk, and I could never go back to narrow bars now that I'm
    > "spoiled" by 44cm width (and I don't even have shoulders... more like ski slopes!).
    >
    > It's almost painful for me to see some guy come in with an older bike, big broad shoulders and a
    > 39cm wide bar. I guess if you don't know any better, it's not that big a deal, but once you get
    > someone on appropriate-width bars, they're blown away by the difference.

    Welllll, maybe. A lot depends on what you're used to. I grew up on bikes with 37-38 cm bars. In 1975
    I briefly apprenticed to a frame builder (whatever happende do Bob Myers?) and while there I built a
    custom frame for myself under his tutelege.

    When time came to build up the completed frame, I went to the best-known fitter in the area and got
    FitKitted. On his recommendation, I got 42 cm bars.

    Although this frame was made to fit me, I never felt really comfortable on it.

    Some years later, on a rainy afternoon, just for something to do I measured the handlebars of all of
    my bikes. I discovered that the three most comfortable bikes I owned all had in common 37 cm bars!

    I bought a pair of 37s for the Brown, and, for me, the improvement was dramatic!

    I will grant that wider bars are better for standing pedaling, but I rarely do this when on a
    multispeed bike, and I find the narrower bars more comfortable and more aero. I'm a large man, but
    my sholders are of average width. Some folks talk about narrow bars constricting the breathing, but
    this is only so if you ride with your elbows straight. I bend my elbows outward so my upper arms
    don't compress my chest.

    > While we're on handlebars, another issue that comes up at times are bars with too much forward
    > reach. Since STI came along, bars like that don't make a lot of sense. They were designed with the
    > idea that you wanted an aggressive position when you were out on the brake hoods, and a more
    > relaxed position up on top (the straight part of the bar). Trouble is, with STI, you spend a lot
    > of time on the lever hoods, so that really needs to be comfortable position for long periods of
    > time. If you shorten the stem to accomplish that, then the top part is way too close. The solution
    > is to shorten up the reach, so you have more useable hand positions, without sacrificing comfort.
    > If you want to get aggressive, go for the drops.

    That's a very cogent observation. I hadn't thought of that. I do generally go with stems at least 1
    cm shorter than the FitKit default recommendation.

    Sheldon "All Generalizations Are False" Brown +-----------------------------------+
    | A smoking section in a | restaurant is like a peeing | section in a swimming pool |
    +-----------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772
    FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  15. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    Todd Kuzma at [email protected] wrote on 5/7/03 8:57 AM:
    > Consider this. Lance Armstrong worked with numerous coaches over the years to fine tune his time
    > trial position. It wasn't until he went into the wind tunnel with equipment for measuring power
    > output and heartrate did he find his best position. It turned out that if he was positioned for
    > the best aerodynamics, his power output was reduced. If he was positioned for best power output,
    > his aerodynamics suffered. If you look at his time trial position today, it is far from
    > conventional. His back is quite humped rather than flat. It just goes to show you.

    IIRC - the hump in his back comes from a fused vertebrae, which compounded the issue of his
    TT position.
     
  16. John Dacey

    John Dacey Guest

    On Wed, 07 May 2003 10:57:24 -0500, Todd Kuzma <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Heck, a number of years ago, Gary Klein wrote an article about fitting people using nothing but
    >*height*.

    As part of his sales pitch to shops back in the early '80s, Bill Farrell (the original developer of
    The Fit Kit) used to review some of the occult sizing methods and formulae in use before the Fit Kit
    came along. One of them was to simply measure the circumference of your head. Of course, as with
    most parlor tricks, he'd play with the resulting number as center-to-center or center-to-top to make
    it appear even more accurate, but with some spectacularly wrong exceptions, it was generally at
    least as good as "stand over the top tube..."

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - http://www.businesscycles.com John Dacey Business Cycles Miami,
    Florida 305-273-4440
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Now in our twentieth year. Our catalogue of track equipment: seventh
    year online
     
  17. Sheldon Brown wrote:

    > The femur length is, indeed, related to the preferred seat tube angle.

    To what do you attribute this Sheldon?

    Andrew Bradley
     
  18. I wrote:

    >> The femur length is, indeed, related to the preferred seat tube angle.
    >
    Andrew Bradley asked:

    > To what do you attribute this Sheldon?

    Whether you subscribe to the "knee-over-pedal-spindle" religion or some variant, longer femurs will
    mean that the saddle needs to go farther back.

    Getting the saddle far enough back for a longfemurian either calls for a slack seat tube angle or a
    layback seatpost (or some similar kluge.)

    Many FitKitters are quite doctrinaire about the Holy Writ of KOPS.

    See also: http://sheldonbrown.com/kops.html

    Sheldon "Reserves The Right To Coin New Words As Needed" Brown
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | When I was in school, I cheated on my metaphysics exam: | I looked into the soul of the boy
    | sitting next to me. | --Woody Allen |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
    Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
    shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  19. Billx

    Billx Guest

    I have an older bike with 6 speed Shimano 600 and new bike with Ultegra 9 speed. The brake hoods on
    the 6 speed are much lower and more aerodynamic on the handlebars so I feel really cramped riding
    the hoods on my newer 9 speed.

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote in message ...
    >> This is just an aside, but it just came to mind. I've never had a fit
    kit
    >> or a bike shop person or anyone ever mention handlebar width to me. One
    >day
    >> I was on a friend's bike. He's the same height as me. His bars were
    much
    >> wider than mine and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable they
    >were.
    >> So I started researching handlebar width and discovered I needed to make
    a
    >> drastic change. When I did, I couldn't believe the dramatic difference
    it
    >> made in my comfort on the bike ... and my power in out-of-saddle efforts, etc. I hardly ever see
    >> or hear anyone talk about bar width ... but it
    can
    >> be a very significant thing.
    >
    >The FitKit measurements do include shoulder width, for help in determining appropriate handlebar
    >width. Perhaps some shops ignore it? That's unfortunate since bar width can make quite a difference
    >in comfort and out-of-the-saddle climbing. Back in the day there wasn't much choice; nearly all
    >bars were Cinelli 64s, with a 40cm width. But over time we've found that wider bars are definitely
    >an advantage for bigger folk, and I could never go back to narrow bars now that I'm "spoiled" by
    >44cm width
    (and
    >I don't even have shoulders... more like ski slopes!).
    >
    >It's almost painful for me to see some guy come in with an older bike, big broad shoulders and a
    >39cm wide bar. I guess if you don't know any better, it's not that big a deal, but once you get
    >someone on appropriate-width bars, they're blown away by the difference.
    >
    >While we're on handlebars, another issue that comes up at times are bars with too much forward
    >reach. Since STI came along, bars like that don't make a lot of sense. They were designed with the
    >idea that you wanted an aggressive position when you were out on the brake hoods, and a more
    relaxed
    >position up on top (the straight part of the bar). Trouble is, with STI, you spend a lot of time on
    >the lever hoods, so that really needs to be comfortable position for long periods of time. If you
    >shorten the stem to accomplish that, then the top part is way too close. The solution is to shorten
    >up the reach, so you have more useable hand positions, without sacrificing comfort. If you want to
    >get aggressive, go for the drops.
    >
    >--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  20. Sheldon Brown wrote:
    >
    > >> The femur length is, indeed, related to the preferred seat tube angle.
    > >
    > Andrew Bradley asked:
    >
    > > To what do you attribute this Sheldon?
    >
    > Whether you subscribe to the "knee-over-pedal-spindle" religion or some variant, longer femurs
    > will mean that the saddle needs to go farther back.

    To what do you attribute this Sheldon? In other words do you have a view on what causes the "need"
    you mention for the saddle to go back with long femurs?

    There will probably be some sort of statistical trend relating preferred saddle position to femurs
    since it is easy to see (at least at a relatively long crank-length) that there may be a need for
    those of short femur to sit forward of "normal" due to "tuck angle" becoming the overriding factor
    (though not everyone is worried about aerodynamics). But in this respect, the longfemurians aren't
    constrained.

    Does anybody out there know a reason why "long femurs = saddle back" for some mechanical reason that
    is not to do with angles at the hip?

    If you adopt a "sit as far back as your hips allow" or a "sit back until your hip angle is X
    degrees" approach to bike fit then the long femured will be further back.

    I think this is roughly the philosophy of the fit method described here:
    http://www.billbostoncycles.com where they talk of "binding" occuring in the muscles crossing the
    hip (not sure I've experienced that myself).

    Andrew Bradley
     
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