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Do I look cramped?(20 posts)

Do I look cramped?memphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 4:30 PM
After seeing a pic of me riding on the tops from this weekend, I am wondering if I need a longer (and maybe higher rise) stem.
The current stem is the stock one, a 50mm 80 degree Dimension.

Can you guys look at these pics and let me know what you think?

First one is me on the hoods. I'd say most of my riding is done on the hoods or up top.


- Chip

Peddler Bike Shop - Memphis TN
up topmemphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 4:33 PM
up top...
in the dropsmemphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 4:36 PM
in the drops
re: Do I look cramped?jrm
Nov 11, 2002 4:44 PM
yeah it looks more like you need a bigger frame...
re: Do I look cramped?memphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 4:52 PM
Well, technically, this frame fits me, as far as inseam measurements go. When I straddle the frame, the jewels are resting atop the top tube.

It seems as if I am cursed with short legs and a normal torso.
maybe a longer stem?Jakob
Nov 11, 2002 4:58 PM
I am all around pretty average-sized and I bought a cross check that is probably one size too big for me. If I had bought the correct size (52cm), I would have run a 100mm stem on it. I think maybe you try a longer stem and see how that works. Those frames generally have long top tubes, but your legs seem short enough that you end up riding a frame that is too short for your torso. I think that's fairly common (or at least not uncommon) for men.
maybe a longer stem?memphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 5:12 PM
That's what I've been thinking...

What length would you suggest? Maybe a 100-110mm? How much rise?

I've been looking at the Salsa S.U.L. Moto-Ace stem. Lots of size options, and it's affordable. =)

Thanks for your help!
longer not higherOffRoadTourer
Nov 11, 2002 5:21 PM
I definitely vote for a longer stem, but don't think you need a higher one. You're not exactly in a deep aero tuck on the drops at present. As for exact length, try and find a shop that will let you try a few different ones out first, or play with an adjustable stem. It gets down to personal preference, and that's a tricky thing to apply a formula to.
re: Do I look cramped?lnin0
Nov 14, 2002 12:20 PM
Your have that much seat post showing and yet the jewels still rest on the top tube? Man, and I thought I had a problem with odd body proportions.

I run with nary and inch or two of clearance for my jewels and very little seat post showing (more of a road bike setup than I care for when lunging at my seat) ... yet with a smaller size my tt-length would have gone so short I would have to steer with my knees.

I tried a lot of different bikes and it seems they all are kind of odd when it comes to sizing...expecially if you want more jewel clearance without loosing least in my case.
re: Do you FEEL cramped?cxer
Nov 11, 2002 5:41 PM
That's the important question! Do you feel comfortable on your bike?
From the pics, it looks like you could go with a 100-110mm. But the more you change the front, it will affect the fit of your saddle and seat height.
You may have to adjust your saddle and post when you put on a longer stem.

One good thing is that if your bike feels twitchy, the longer stem will smooth out the steering.

Don't go by looks or photos of yourself. Tom Steels (one of the fastest sprinters in the pro peloton) rides in a upright position like you. Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo) rides so low that you can't even see his head from behind. Both work. It depends on your body.
re: Do you FEEL cramped?memphistrials
Nov 11, 2002 6:20 PM
You know, that's one thing I forgot to mention...

I've got my seat run as far forward as it can go. Yet, I routinely find myself sitting a bit forward on the seat. I seem to end up forward of the place where your butt needs to sit on the saddle. (i.e., the big pads on the saddle)

But yes, I do feel a little cramped on it. Like I feel that my knees come too close to the bars when I'm pedaling.

...suddenly has an idea!...

I think I'll try running my seat back farther on the rails for a while. Maybe that will stretch me out some more and give me a bit of room.
I'm thinking maybe that I just need to get used to being stretched out on a bike. I come from a BMX and observered trials background. I don't know much at all about proper road / CX bike setup. =)

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far! I'm gonna keep everything in mind.
maybe adjust the tilt.atpjunkie
Nov 11, 2002 7:06 PM
maybe your seat is sliding you forward. make sure the saddle angle isn't functioning as a slide. You do look like you could use a bit longer of a stem. a 90-110 should work and it will make the bike less twitchy. Short stem like that has to be nervous in fast loose descents
re: Do you FEEL cramped?cxer
Nov 11, 2002 9:38 PM
When you move your saddle back, lower your seatpost a tiny bit too.

CX bikes are usually setup to be more upright than a road racing bike.
If you are comfortable and efficent more upright because of your trials/bmx bike setups, don't worry about getting too stretched out.

It sounds like you have some experimentation to do. Try going to a bike shop and get fitted or try out other bikes with longer stems, etc.

good luck.
Another 2cWinona Rider
Nov 12, 2002 1:34 AM
I ask:

Is that as bent as you are gonna get your back? Is that your normal comfortable riding position?

If you are new/coming back and are going to get more flexibility, then I would leave alone for the time being - you may find that you get more aero/bent arm, just by being a little more chest down.

If that is as good as it's going to get flex-wise, I'd look at a higher stem.

I would not say that your frame is too small though - sure you could ride a bigger one, and probably not a much smaller one, but you are not really pushing the envelope there...
I agreegreg n
Nov 12, 2002 6:43 AM
that frame does look too small for you.

And with a stem that short, it's got to be very twitchy. If you're worried about being too low, get a longer stem with a rise. That way you open up the reach without feeling uncomfortably low.
Problem may start with foot position on pedals.....TFerguson
Nov 12, 2002 6:52 AM
Part of the problem (if there really is one) may be your feet placement on the pedals. In the pic it looks like the axle is right under the arch of your foot. It "should" be under the ball. Maybe that is what makes you want to move forward in the saddle and cramp the bars. It could also be that your position in the pic is not really how you would ride. I can't even tell what is holding up the bike. or are you just that good at trackstanding from your trials days.

My $0.02 – get clips (or clipless pedals) that keep the ball of your foot centered over the axle. Set the saddle for 0.883 x inseam and KOPS (see Colorado Cyclist Site if this is not familiar or even go through the whole COCyclist fitting). Use this as a starting point and ride a bit and see how it feels. I think you need to work towards more flex in the elbows or your shoulders/neck are going to kill you. Also, like a previous poster said, take a few test rides and see what feels good.
re: Do I look cramped?RobbDC
Nov 12, 2002 11:43 AM
Not only do you look cramped, you look WAY too upright. The positioning would be fine if the bike were a hybrid or mountainbike's not.

First, you need to place the balls of your feet on the pedals, not the middle of your feet. If you ride like that, stop it!!

Secondly, you are correct in thinking that you need a longer stem. If you have a 50 mm stem on there now, try something more traditional, something like 90-110 mm. You have to findout for yourself what's best. Just by looking at your pic and your upright position, I would say get something with 0 degree rise.

The Surly's have VERY traditional measurements and are easy to suit up to most everyone. The top tube should be close to what the seat tube is as far as measurements so you can think about that when purchasing a new stem. If you have stubby legs and a longer torso, then you definitely would need a longer stem.

It also looks like you can crank your seatpost up a few mm's but hard to tell in your baggy clothes.

Did you get a stem yet?rockbender
Nov 18, 2002 1:29 PM
Hey Chip,

I'm going to be taking off a 1" threadless Salsa that I think is a 120mm if you are interested. would be willing to part for next to nothing or maybe swap if your stem would work for me ( I need something shorter!)
Did you get a stem yet?memphistrials
Nov 19, 2002 10:04 PM
Actually, I have one ordered through the LBS... A 90mm 105 degree Salsa S.U.L. Moto-Ace. Should be here by Friday.

Thanks for your offer of the trade, but my bike has a 1 1/8 steerer tube.
re: Do I look cramped?mackgoo
Nov 20, 2002 8:35 AM
It's not how you look. It's how you feel.