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Can this Newbie be made to fit this Klein?(4 posts)

Can this Newbie be made to fit this Klein?LAIrish
Mar 19, 2001 5:01 PM
I'm a newbie who was riding Univega ATB when I started to get interested in road bikes. (I live at the beach, so there are few hills and many dedicated bike paths/lanes.) I got what I thought was good deal on a used Klein, so I jumped on it.

The problem: I'm 5'10, 1/2" but I have only a 30 inch inseam. I know that standard recommendatiosn for fit are an inch or two of standover clearance and that, when on the drops, the front hub should be obscured from my vision. I figured that, with a long torso and short legs, I would need a slightly bigger frame than usually recommended. So, I have barely any standover (I am VERY careful when dismounting.) But my eyes are waaaaay out over the front of the bike. Hell, I can still see the hub when riding with my hands on the top of the bar. (My saddle is mounted as far back as the rails will allow.) I have discovered that Klein uses a somewhat steeper top tube angle (to provide more power?), but I figure this shortens the top tube (exactly the opposite of my personal frame).

Query: Can I get a better fit by getting a longer stem, or will that screw up the geometry of the rider/bike so much that it will mess up the ride? (E.g. will my center of mass be so far in front of the bike's center that it will be just too squirrelly?) Alternatively, can I get a seatpost that moves the saddle back, or will that end up destroying the efficiency of the bike, causing tendinitis, ruin my riding style, making me look like an idiot, and not really help? Or, are the standards just bullpucky and I should just live with the situation (I haven't ridden enough to know whether I would actually be more comfortable in a more stretched position).

Can I save this combination, or do I have to invest in another bike to get a comfortable fit for longer rides (I'd like to start doing Centuries, tours, etc.)? If I invest in another bike, can I justify saving the Klein (she's really pretty) for another use? Would it make more sense to have my legs severed and extensions inserted, so I could fit a larger frame?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
re: Can this Newbie be made to fit this Klein?GregJ
Mar 19, 2001 8:26 PM
Probably. First, the seat fore- aft adjustment is used to position your body over the pedals, not to adjust your reach. Generally, the top of the shin just below the kneecap should be immediatly above the pedal spindle when the crank is in the 3 o'clock position(measured with a plumb line.) This is just a starting point, however, and many riders prefer to be a little behind the pedals. Me for example. You can use a long stem, they are made for a reason. While a 130 or 140 stem may be less than ideal, they work, your bike should handle fine. The bottom line is that you can probably get a reasonable position with some experimentation. I would do some research about fitting and get your saddle height worked out first, then dial in the fore-aft adjustment, then the reach and drop to the bars. With a frame that is large for you your bars may be high relative to the seat, which may be fine. Bar height is a matter of personal preference, the lower the more aero you are the higher the more comfort. My own set-up is about average, around a 3 inch drop to the tops. I can get comfortably aero on the hoods by bending my elbows, and also I am comfortable in the drops for a long time. I think the tops of the bars should hide your front hub when you are on the levers, forearms bent almost horizontal, once again this is just a good place to start.
Consider an off set seat post...DINOSAUR
Mar 21, 2001 7:14 AM
You did not mention what size frame you were riding. The top tube length is the most important. Some riders do experience problems with the Klein geometry due to the steep seat tube angle. A common fix is going to an off set seat post. The important thing is, how do you feel on your bike? Forget about the formula regarding the view of the front hub when you hands are on the hoods. You should base your fit on how you feel. Formulas get you get the general ball park but you've got to tinker a bit from there to get dialed in.
KOP & Seatpost...dave
Mar 21, 2001 1:44 PM
Check your knee-over-pedal-position first. See, if you're not familiar with KOP measurment. As others mentioned, this is only a starting point, but most like the knee to be directly above the pedal spindle to as much as 2cm behind.

You don't mention the type of seat post that you now have. Most road post with setback, have the front of the clamp positioned near the centerline of the post (campy, shimano, american classic, ITM). A few have the clamp positioned a little further back (Kalloy). Other brands, like the Thomson straight up model have the front of the clamp positioned far ahead of the post centerline, which places the saddle much further forward. Look makes a carbon fiber post with a clamp that can be moved far back, but it's pricey.

Stem length should be selected, after the saddle has been set to the proper position. The minimum length should leave a small amount of knee to elbow clearance, when riding in the drops, with your hands on the brake levers. Beginners often find this length a little too stretched, and prefer to ride with a small amount of knee to elbow overlap.