Getting your bike properly fitted-Help!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by pola2485, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. pola2485

    pola2485 New Member

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    Hi. I have a question. I am brand new to road cycling. I am 5'11" and about 170 lb. I purchased the 2004 Specialized Roubaix Comp. It is a beautiful bike and rides well, but after being fitted at the original shop I felt scrunched on my first long ride. My legs (33" inseam) couldn't extend even close to where they should. The group I ride with also told me I looked scrunched and they questioned if the bike was too small for me. Some items I have considered is that the frame is compact and has a sloping top tube. I took the bike into another shop and the fitter raised the seat post by about 2-3 inches, then moved the seat back (I now have 7 inches of seat post showing on a 13" post). He also moved the position of the handlebars up. The result is a better ride overall and I don't feel scrunched anymore (With the exception of my arms feeling a bit uncomfortable, which Specialized corporate said can be fixed by getting a longer stem, if needed). My question for all of you is, am I on too small of a frame for my size or is frame size really just personal preference? I have now had 2 shops telling me a 54 is ok, but my ride following the first 'professional fit' on my first ride sucked so I don't know who to believe. If these changes that took place on my second fit are standard protocol, as opposed to a 'band aid' fix then great! If not, any advice? Thanks for any help!
     
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  2. serenaslu

    serenaslu New Member

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    Well, I am certainly not impressed if a bike shop was off by 3 inches on saddle height on a new bike they sold you!! Bike fit is a somewhat personal thing and can vary widely so I can't speak in broad terms. It also matters how measurements such as inseam are taken. There are a number of "systems" which a LBS typically use (e.g. Fit-Stik, Accu-fit, etc.) There are some on-line calcualtors such as

    http://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/Secure/Fitting/Height.asp

    which can give a resonable starting point.

    Looks like your frame has a 548mm eff. top tube length. Off the top of my head that sounds short to me without a very long stem, but I typically take a longer TT for my height, because my legs are somewhat stubby by comparison.

    (one caveat, geometry of individual frames should be taken into consideration. For instance the above link suggests an appropriate frame size, but I feel that it is better to look at the individual measurements.)
     
  3. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Your LBS should have gotten your saddle height within a cm just by putting you on the bike. Did they even put you on a 56 cm frame to let you feel the difference?

    At 5'11", a 54 cm frame is likely too small for you, if you have normal torso and arm length. I'm 6', and ride a 58 cm sloping tube bike with a 575 mm effective top tube and 110 stem.

    This month's Bicycling Mag has an article and picture illustrating basic fit and position on a road bike.
     
  4. Calvin Jones

    Calvin Jones New Member

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  5. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    First off, I'm also really unimpressed by the first shop's effort to fit you BEFORE you bought the bike. Really unprofessional. I'm 5'11 with shorter legs (30 inch inseam) and most of the time 56 cm bikes are a better fit stock. I'd take the bike back and tell the jerks to trade you for a bigger bike or at least a longer stem-- and don't take no for an answer. Complaining gets you a long ways sometimes.


    Don't be afraid to post the shop name here either....
     
  6. Allen H

    Allen H New Member

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    I'd guess a 56 or 58 cm size would fit you much better, given your height and inseam length. Did you test-ride anything larger than the 54 cm before being fitted for it?

    Sounds like the first LBS needs to make amends to you somehow - either swapping stems and/or seat posts, or better yet, get you on the right-sized bike.
     
  7. pola2485

    pola2485 New Member

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    Thanks to everyone so far for their comments. The links and advice have all been very helpful. I visited a 3rd bike shop last night and he told me that the 54" dosn't look too bad based on the fact that it is just under 55 cm on a compact frame (Which is going to look significantly smaller than a traditional frame anyway). At this point, I am not 100% sure I should get rid of the bike. I will try and trust in what these people have told me and make the best of the situation. If it works out great! If not, looks like I'll be making a new post on Ebay. Thanks again!
     
  8. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    You shouldn't make a decision on selling/returning the bike, until you get yourself properly measured by someone reputable. The sad thing is, it isn't some sort of rocket science. It is really pretty simple to figure out what frame size is right for someone, with a little attention to detail. I would suggest trying several different online fit tools and seeing if they converge on a size. Here is another one: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

    You might find that the 54cm is actually the right size but the first LBS just botched the adjustment.
     
  9. waterboy420

    waterboy420 New Member

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    I am 5'11" and ride a 54cm frame with standard goes, not compact and am extemely comfortable. I used to ride a 56cm bike, but found that it was a little too big for me. Fit certainly is a porsonal thing. I have changed the saddle, seatpost, and the stem and handlebars mostly for comfort and weight reasons. Fit is definitely a personal thing, and needs fine tuning after a few rides to get it just right.

    Check out the current issue of VeloNews too. The fit article in this magazine offers some other good tips in addition to the ones in Bicycling. Plus there are a just a lot of cool bikes to drool over!
     
  10. supergrill

    supergrill New Member

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    Yes, very personal indeed. I'm only 5'9", but with my shorter legs, I have been cramped torso-wise on a 54" standard geometry and am switching to a 55" (562 eff. TT). So going by a single measurment is a very precarious thing.
     
  11. Rocket69

    Rocket69 New Member

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    With so many variables, I don't know why so many are settelling for "stock" frames. When someone is putting down $3500 or more on a bike, just go custom! I bought a Guru Carbonio a few months back and my LBS, with help from Guru, fit me to a T. The guys at Guru really got their act together and the bike fits like a darn glove. My problem was that my torso was too short for "stock" frames... Getting my custom Carbonio was the best investment I ever made to for my riding...

    Rocket69
     
  12. jasong

    jasong New Member

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    The bike fit specialists at my LBS totally blew the fit for me, being off by about 2" on saddle height and also selling me a litespeed frame a bit too small. I am probably never going to trust a shop after this. It's a hit or miss with which employee you get or a good or bad day when they're selling you something. Think they feel guilty? Think they follow up on what they sell?

    Reading and self informing are the keys to this; riding with clubs and getting advice from people who aren't motivated by money or getting rid of stagnant inventory.
     
  13. gpelpel

    gpelpel New Member

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    I tried the Roubaix at my local Specialized dealer. What a beautiful bike! I am also 5'11" with a 34" inseam. I think the bike I tried was a 58cm but could have been a 56cm. Specialized measurements are center of bottom bracket to center of top tube so a 56cm should be perfect for you and a 58cm very close. A 54cm seems too small in my opinion. The most important dimension on a bike is the top tube length, if you feel squeezed and require a stem longer than 12cm I would get a larger size bike.
     
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