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May be this wasn't meant to be...(65 posts)

May be this wasn't meant to be...Kristin
Oct 12, 2001 8:11 PM
I just got back from having my bike fit and I feel totally discouraged. Based on their assessment, the DB is at least two sizes too small. Now we're talking about a set back seat post to get my Knee/pedal posistion right and a (much) shorter stem. I'm over $200 now.

Everything I thought I knew seems worthless. Someone said a while back that perhaps this wasn't meant to be. May be they were right, and cycling is not for me. I'm spending money I don't even have and just getting injured in the process. I don't want to quit, but I'm ready to. However, that could be the saratonin deficit speaking. I haven't worked out much for three weeks.

Okay, I'm just babbling out loud in hopes that I can process some of this. Hopefully I'll find a bit of grace among friends for this. Thanks.
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...Akirasho
Oct 12, 2001 8:42 PM
... maybe this one... but certainly not the total experience...

My basement if full of "Everything I thought I knew's" and I'll probably collect a few more along the way. Two things we don't have enough of are time (definitely) and money (at least we think so). Think of the monetary expenditures as being amortized over a lifetime and it's much more palatable (and true since chances are you'll be cycling long after many of your age contemporaries are being fitted for their new walkers).

Tis that time of season when many of us start wondering... but most of us eventually wisen up... when we get enough of snow and cold and those first signs of spring appear.

Now, do what it takes to get what you "need".

Be the bike.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...DINOSAUR
Oct 12, 2001 9:32 PM
No, don't give up. I've ridden bikes that are too small as well as too large. My Klein is a 61 and I should be riding a 59. Cycling is a learning experience and you never stop learning. Take what you have learned and chalk it up. My first road bike was a Sears Easy Spirit! I know we get discouraged once and awhile, but trust me, persevere and I guarantee that cycling will take to places you can't imagine. I learned not to set my sights too high with my goals, otherwise I get discouraged. You're just in a funk, I get in them once and awhile. Usually when the seasons change like now. I havn't been able to work out much either for the past month because of other commitments. Don't quit, you will feel very sad everytime you see a roadie decked out in full regalia. I stopped cycling for about eight years and I could kick myself for the lost years.
We all go through what you are experiencing. Don't give up, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on going....
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...harlett
Oct 12, 2001 9:33 PM
kristin--- it's a learning experience and that's never worthless--- my mistakes have all been reasons for me to slap my forehead with an open palm and try and understand that my mind sometimes makes the wrong decision (now you need to know that for me that's hard..*S*)--- then i try and tell myself that it's creative to allow myself to make mistakes.sometimes i even convince myself of that!!

if knowledge came too easy it wouldn't be as valuable as it is---

isn't it nice to have a place to come and feel comfortable enough to "babble out loud *S*

wake to sunshine.......
It was certainly meant to be, K.nigel
Oct 12, 2001 10:00 PM
Look at ALL of the heart, devotion, thought, more thought, time, money, and love you've put into your cycling experience to this point. You've had LENGTHY discussions with people here (not that we minded, though), at bike shops, and on rides to try to ensure that you'd get the best fit and comfort--and thus performance--out of your purchases. YOU ARE A CYCLIST. Simple as that. Many of us question, double-think, and re-double-think our purchases, frame options, componentry, fit, saddles, shoes, pedals; hell, we can even agonize over clothing choices (Too wannabe? Too "Freddish"? Too bumpkin? Too plain? Too tight? Too flashy?). You're one of us.

Like so very many things in life--personal relationships, jobs, homes, cars, pets, vacations, investments--cycling can and should be a learning experience and a stepping stone. Remember that phrase: stepping stone. You learn from something (which may not necessarily be a "mistake," by the way) and take a step UP the next time around. You've researched and done your absolute best in choosing your De Bernardi--and it's a lovely bike. My first "real" bike was a bit large (almost no clearance), but the top tube was too short. I, too, had to use a clamp-on piece to bring my saddle back an extra inch or two. It's taken me a few tries--over the years--to find the right pedals for me (Speedplay, I think!). I'm finally finding clothing that fits me without being way too long (though I'm slim, I'm 5'5, and men's jerseys/bibs are usually made for people 5'8 or so). I've learned so much about training and riding since my racing days that I could've used to successful ends back then. I don't sweat it. It's accumulated wisdom, and hindsight's always 20/20. Remember this, too.

Take the time and money needed--and try Sarafem for that serotonin imbalance! I hear it works! :) --to get things right with your bike. When you're able to get back on it comfortably, you'll see what you can REALLY do on a bike when it fits properly and your weight's balanced properly. Ride a trainer/rollers if you have one/them, get used to your new position; ride nice and even--don't stress your body. Spin easily and focus on how you feel. Look forward to the springtime when you can really feel the wind at your face (or ride outdoors during the winter when it's doable). You'll be just great; don't quit on us now.

Let us know how you're fairing, please.

Chin up, now, and give us a smile.

re: May be this wasn't meant to be...cp123
Oct 12, 2001 11:07 PM
you have put too much love and devotion into this. don't chuck it all in.
We all get discouraged...ACE-
Oct 12, 2001 11:26 PM
at one time or another. Cycling is worth the pain, expense, and the problems that arise.You have learned this, or you would not have spent so much time here or on the bike. Perhaps you might consider selling the DB (frame) and getting something more affordable and using your current components. Whatever happens remember to run with patience the race set before you. ACE
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...renew
Oct 13, 2001 5:15 AM
I have seen your name asking questions and offering help when you could to others to many times for this not to be something you should be doing. If this was not mean't to be, you would not of been led to do either. Most good things in life are never easy. Thats why they are so sweet when we achieve them. Take some time to process the new information you have and proceed slowly. Besides as on old single guy I enjoy reading post from the women here. It brings a perspective into my life that has been missing for to long. So you see it's really all about me. :)
Kristin, let me relate this true story, if it helps ...Elefantino
Oct 13, 2001 6:18 AM
I had been in intensive care for a week after my accident, feeling sorry for myself because I felt like crap from surgery three days earlier. At about 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 14, I heard this "click clack click clack" outside in the hallway, followed by a nurse telling someone "you can't go in there."

It was three of my riding buddies, who had left the regular Saturday morning ride to ride to the hospital and cheer me up. After a week of looking at people in nurses' scrubs and doctors' white coats, here were three people dressed in lycra: a Harpoon ale jersey, a garish yellow local bike club jersey and one of those Primal snake jerseys. I couldn't help but laugh. Suddenly, quite suddenly, I remembered what a wonderful community of friends I was lucky enough to be a part of. The four of us and so many more had ridden though so much over the years — scorching heat, hurricane-force rain and wind, numerous pick-'em-up-truck Bubbas trying to run us off the road, not to mention a whole lot of fun — and it reminded me of who I was and what I loved.

I have a job, I have a family ... and I am a cyclist. Always have been. And despite what the doctors said initially, I will be again.

True ending to the story: After my buddies left, I called my wife. I told her to come and get me. And I got out of the hospital bed, walked to the nurse station and told them to get the discharge doctor. I was ready. And I got to go home that afternoon.

I'm not trying to sound like hero, which I'm not. The simple message: You're a cyclist, too. Don't forget that.

Ride on.
Like a doctor, get a second opinionDave Hickey
Oct 13, 2001 6:57 AM
Something doesn't sound right. The LBS said your bike was too small, but you need a shorter stem? A smaller bike usually means a long stem to make it fit. I don't know what kind of bike your riding, but if you take my bike(LOOK) as an expample, the top tube difference between two sizes is .8cm. That difference is easly adjusted with a 1cm stem swap(in my case a 100 instead of a 90). When I was looking for a new LOOK frameset, I found a 49cm for $520.00 and a 51cm(my size) for $995. Believe me, I've adjusted to 2 sizes too small. I can't notice the difference between my 51cm LOOK and my 49cm LOOK.
Like a doctor, get a second opinionBirddog
Oct 13, 2001 9:37 AM
I agree with this post and the one down below, something doesn't sound quite right. If you haven't already done this, go to and click on "fit your bike like a pro". With the assistance of another person, carefully go through the measurements and see what you come up with on your own and then compare with the advice of the LBS. I would have linked this for you, but right now the page won't come up.
this newbie agreeskenyee
Oct 13, 2001 10:44 AM
I would have thought
frame too small = longer stem required

Did you get fit on a Serotta cycle?

What did they do to "fit" you?
Everything countsRich Clark
Oct 13, 2001 7:01 AM
When I got got over all those heart problems and abdomenal surgeries and everything, and was ready to graduate to a "real" bike, I bought a nice Trek hybrid. It was perfect, I thought, and it took me from being a big fat lump of poo to being someone who couldn't imagine not riding.

I loved that bike.

But the more I rode the more my knees hurt. I tried everything you can try to relieve it, but the x-rays showed tendinitis in both knees, and they sent me to physical therapy, and made me wear knee braces, and suggested maybe bicycling wasn't such a good idea.

But you know, none of those doctors knew about KOPS. It wasn't until I described my problems to the guy who runs what's now my regular bike shop that I learned. And discovered that the Trek's geometry was such that achieving proper knee/pedal angle was simply impossible for me.

Now my bikes fit and I can ride a century without knee pain. I had to sell the Trek, which I loved dearly for helping to save my life, but which was hurting me every day.

But I still see the bike every day: I sold it to my assistant, who's shorter and differently-proportioned than I am and whom it happens to fit quite well. Now *he's* commuting to work on his bike, too.

Some good comes from everything. We learn, we adjust, we move on. It's the journey, and how you manage it, that matters.

Don't worrypeloton
Oct 13, 2001 7:14 AM
Part of cycling is going to involve buying equipment that doesn't work out the way you planned, and having to take time off the bike every now and then. I haven't ridden much in the past couple of weeks because of a saddle sore I developed messing with my aero position, and a touch of tendinitis in my knee. One or the other I could have dealt with, but both were too much. It's like the old saying goes...$hit happens. Maybe just take a couple days and don't think about cycling. You'll be ready to ride before you know it, and you eventually won't remember what you were discouraged about in the first place.
The Tribe Has Spoken!Jon
Oct 13, 2001 8:43 AM
AND YOU DARN WELL BETTER LISTEN! Read, and reread the above posts. There's alot of collective
wisdom and experience there. Two thoughts from our resident board philosopher that I particularly
like and are apropos: hardgained knowledge is valuable (paraphrase), and "life is a verb". I
remember going through exactly what you're experiencing when I took up running after life-threatening
pulmonary disease. I fought through injury after injury, coupled with recurring bouts of depression.
Looking back after fifteen years, those were necessary and valuable, if not painful, learning experiences.
The end result, however, has been personal transformation and a quality of life most people my age
can only dream about--plus newfound friends and community. With perserverance and focus your
experience will turn out just as positively. Besides which, you've passed the point of no return!

P.S. You may want to save up your shekels and look into getting a custom build.
Krispy around the edgesgrassy knoll
Oct 13, 2001 8:42 AM
A classic case of late season burnout. I bet it happens to everyone here including myself. symptoms include wanting a new bike, making radical changes to your positon and just not feeling like riding. The hard part is to quit for a couple of weeks. Go hiking or walk or some other low intensity activities. Take care of some of the stuff you neglected because you were riding your bike all summer. If you don't feel like riding don't ride, but don't quit. cycling is just like life and some things need to be learned the hard way. hopefully you will own many bikes and tons of gear over a lifetime of cycing. just part of the game. Now buck up this will pass just give yourself some time.
Say it ain't so...4bykn
Oct 13, 2001 9:18 AM
Wait a minute, the fitters are wanting to move your seat back, and a shorter stem. Sounds like they are only changing your position, not necessarily going toward a larger frame.
If you can't ride (I can't now, it's raining) hit the gym and relieve some stress on the weight machines. It always helps me out of the blues.
Dear Kristin (the Cyclist),Spinchick
Oct 13, 2001 10:14 AM
I cannot put any more eloquently or inspirationally any of the messages already posted above. Wonderful words from everyone. I can speak to the low serotonin-induced "maybe I should just hang this up" nonsense. And I call it nonsense because it is truly not you (not me either). It is a temporary state of mind (literally) that will pass. I can't go more than 4 days without some type of vigorous exercise before I experience a noticable drop in mood and self-esteem. It sucks. Mostly because injuries do happen, other set-backs happen, things take you off the bike and out of the gym temporarily. I know how hard it is to "pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with it." But just do it, girl. You are a cyclist and thereby an inspiration to others.
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...badabill
Oct 13, 2001 12:55 PM
As everyone has said this too shall pass. Set-backs happen, crashes, injury, or outside related you have to learn to live with them. Your bike fit problem is easely remedied, injuries heal, so you will be back on the bike shortly. Smile be happy ( crappy line but someone had to say it) ;-)
Dear Cyclist (Kristin):Len J
Oct 13, 2001 1:52 PM
I agree with the poster who said "Re-read the above outpouring". If that doesn't convince you that one, you are a cyclist & two, that you have touched people in a way that most people never learn. You are a valuable regular who contributes in soo many ways that your absence would be sorly missed.

Harlett said it best, when she said that no lesson learned is not valuable. Consider this part of the journey. I know it's discouraging, we've all been there, but now you have a choice. Will you choose to look at this as a step along the way, or as an obstacle you won't try to overcome.

We all have faith in you, you can do this. You are not alone.

From one cyclist to another

Keep on Truckin'jagiger
Oct 13, 2001 2:34 PM

Sorry about the bad news, yet as others have said, it's probably time to could be right & lbs off base. Alos, working some time off into your riding might be good stuff too (I'm reading Greg Lemond's book & he does this as a matter of course...helps clear out the cob webs.)

You might find other solutions/alternatives if you have time to step away from it. Or since the frame is too small you might be able to ride with the smaller stem & only make adjustments so you don't mess up your knees for the time being. Used parts is also an alternative(I've got a hardly used Coda stem 110cm if you're interested). You might think about swapping the frame with someone else. My frame's a tad too big & you might find someone with a DB that's too large as well.

Your lucky to have plenty of support from your biking buds & I'm sure that you'll figure something out. Remember too that..."good judgement comes from experience. Sometimes, experience comes from bad judgement." Don't worry, just keep on truckin'!!
Hang in thereWarren128
Oct 13, 2001 4:06 PM
Hi Kristin,

Make the adjustments, then try to go out and savor the cycling experience just for the sake of cycling. No training ride, or distance goals, or anything like that, just a fun ride. Take it easy, take your time.

We're all pulling for you.


Keep the faith, kiddo. I bike's a thing, and it's only money.bill
Oct 13, 2001 5:49 PM
You love to ride? Ride. You'll work it out.
BTW, I think that it actually was "sardonic bill" who said that this wasn't meant to be. Don't ever take him seriously. I don't.
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...mackgoo
Oct 13, 2001 7:03 PM
First don't give up. Second think things through before you spend the money. I am sort of surprised to hear you may have a frame 2 sizes too small yet you need a shorter stem, how is that? How far off is the knee pedal measurement?
Thanks for the support!Kristin
Oct 13, 2001 9:36 PM
Thanks guys. I needed to vent somewhere last night and turned here. I appreciate that no one blasted me--especially those who may have been tempted and bit their tongues instead. I needed to express my discouragement and doing so helped. Harlett, I did not wake to sunshine. It was gray and foggy and 65 degrees. However, I found a renewed sense of determination. Forget the messed-up fit! Forget my knee!! I wanted to go for a ride! (explatives withheld) So I did. I had a good hard ride in normal gears. Only ten miles, but that's okay. Didn't worry about my knee and it didn't complain. I'm happy I did it. Oh, and I can spin now.

I'm bummed that I didn't ride home. It was raining. Now, lest you think I've changed my mind about riding in rain--I can assure you, I haven't! There were factors: I forgot to put the eyelet scews back in after removing a bottle cage. It was a lucky mistake. We had a tornado and flooding today.

Thanks for all the encouragement. It means a lot. Depression has been setting in. I looked back over my calendar. I've only ridden 7 times in 6 weeks.
Thanks for the support!harlett
Oct 13, 2001 9:52 PM
renewed determination = sunshine.....even on a gray and foggy day..*S*

lots of sunshine for you!!!
re: May be this wasn't meant to be...flying
Oct 13, 2001 9:46 PM
Don't worry ;-)

Fit is important & it will come. There are many experts & many guidelines. You will find your fit. Yes you may have to spend some $$ to get the right parts but you can do it in stages too.

Most important remember why do you like cycling?
Aside from the fitness & shape do you like the feel of the wind on your face? Man I love that ;-)

Does zooming down a hill put that smile on your face like when you were a kid? Sometimes I feel like people must think Im nuts with such a wide grin ;-)

How about the total silence except for your breathing when climbing a hill alone early in the morning? Or the view when you reach the top?

I don't compete anymore but looking back I regret how caught up I was in everything from fit to exact routines. Im glad that I still like to train but Im so very happy to just be on a bike ;-)

Sorry if this sounds ummm you know mushy or poetic.

Good Luck & I hope you hang in as I really think it is the best of all sports.

Follow up on fit and a questionKristin
Oct 13, 2001 10:04 PM
Okay, for those interested. Heres the details.

The shop I chose for the fitting is highly regarded by some and I was referred to them. There are three guys in the shop who were all certified in the Fit Kit many years ago in New England. If I recall two of them followed up with training out west too after the operation moved. In any regard, they do a lot of fittings for all types of riders and have been operating here for over 15 years.

Okay fit specifics:

They explained that they have moved away from using the "plug in the numbers" model, because, in their experience, the numbers don't always serve the riders needs. I'm getting a pedal fit and a salsta(sp) stem fit. $70. Opinions welcome!

KOP: They explained that the first step was to get my knee in the right position over the spindle. Since my seat is all the way back, they want to order a set back seat post.

Reach: After looking at me on the trainer, they immediately indicated that I looked liked I'm reaching. When I'm on the hoods, I do feel like my weight is far forward and my shoulders are tense. Almost as if I'm leaning/falling forward. This is the reason they are suggesting a shorter stem. After bringing the seat back, they will bring the bars back too.

Here's where my brain gets confused. When I go into the drops, my nose is directly over the front hub.


Where should I want my nose to be?

Does this indicate a bike thats
a) Too short
b) Too long
c) Just right

Can someone be on a bike that's too small and still be reaching or too stretched out??
Where should I want my nose to be?renew
Oct 13, 2001 10:56 PM
You may be sorry you asked that question. :)
KOP and moe...C-40
Oct 14, 2001 6:08 AM
Getting a seatpost that will allow the knee to be positioned over or slightly behind the pedal spindle is a good idea, IMO. If you currently have a Thomson post, or other "straight up" design, I'm not surprised that you need a different post. Most road bikes have a seat tube angle designed to work with a traditional set-back post, where the front of the rail clamp is positioned near the centerline of the seat seatpost.

As for stem length, it's highly subjective, but one functional test is knee to elbow clearance. When riding reasonably low in the drops with hands in the curved portion of the bars and fingers in reach of the brake levers, there should not be any significant overlap of the knee and elbow. A small amount of clearance is preferable. Seasoned riders may have stems long enough to produce 1 to 3cm of clearance. Additional clearance permits a lower, more aerodynamic back position when riding in the drops, which is desirable but not necessary.

Personally, I spend very little time in the drops, mainly when descending and cornering. If I want to get really low on long straight flats, I drape my palms over the top of the brake hoods, which allows me to stretch out a bit more.

As for your question about the nose location, it's meaningless, IMO.

As for the question about being too stretched out on a frame that's "too small", it is possible, but only if you are already using a very short stem. If you require a stem that's less than 90mm, it indicates that the top tube length could stand to be shorter, to allow the use a readily available 90 or 100mm stem. There's nothing "wrong" about using a shorter stem, but it certainly limits your choices.

Remember that frame "size" is merely a vertical measurement, which affects standover clearance and the bar to saddle height difference (by virtue of head tube length). The top tube length and seat tube angle must be selected to produce a suitable KOP and reach. Different brands will vary in seat tube angle and top tube length for a given frame size. You may find that standard frames won't give you the necessary fit. If so, a custom frame may be desirable.

I've analyzed many brands of mid-sized frames (55cm) and found that it's rare to find differences of more than 1cm in effective top tube length. Fortunately, I fit the statistical average. There are few 55cm frames that won't fit me. Some merely require a 100mm stem instead of my usual 110mm.
FitRich Clark
Oct 14, 2001 8:09 AM
C-40 covered it pretty well. My previous posts indicate how important I think proper KOPS position is, so yes, if you don't have a setback seatpost you probably should. (What kind of bike comes with a non-setback seatpost any more?)

You want your nose to be below your eyes and above your mouth. Really, this is a non-issue; people's heads come in all different shapes and sizes, and necks vary in length as well, and none of that has anything to do with bike fit.

I wonder if your fork was cut too short and you have too much drop to the bars. How was this calculated originally? What is the amount of drop now? Raising the bars would also shorten the reach a bit, so it should be considered in tandem with the stem and bar change.

At the risk of flames...gust-of-sun
Oct 15, 2001 5:45 AM
Bike fit is an exact, but not always applicable science. The fit kit was designed as a way for shop employees to fit bikes without the need to understand all the mechanics of the body/cycle symbiosis. It works most of the time and as such is a valuable tool for shops, but it's based on theories of fit that may or may not apply to your specific situation.
I think you should get the second opinion and I recommend you get it from someone with the serotta fit cycle. Have them set it up to exactly match the dimensions of your current bike. Then make small changes to simulate things like the laid back post, higher bars, or longer stem. Most importantly, ride the fit cycle for a while. If you are trying to solve a fit problem that shows up later in your ride, say an hour into it, then stay on the fit cycle for about an hour. It sounds funny, but what else is there to do on a rainy saturday.
I was in your position on bike fit, also. The fit-kit told me i needed a 65cm seat tube and a 56cm top tube, supposedly locking me in to high dollar custom frames for the rest of my life. I almost believed the numbers except that my mid-80's stock-frame beater-bike fits pretty well. Measurements and formulas are OK for initial guesses, but only miles will tell you when it's "right."

good luck,

p.s. On a rainy day, Turin Bikes in Evanston will be happy to let you spin away on their Serotta Fit-Cycle...all afternoon if you want.
it *is* meant to beET
Oct 14, 2001 6:35 AM
You clearly show a zest for cycling, so it is meant to be.

Since you're asking, here's my advice. You may not heed it, but I'm just trying to help. From day one, when it became clear you weren't fit well at all, you took the approach that we'll make this work out somehow (the only good of the ordeal was that it enhanced your literary reputation :-)). Even with the bar/stem adjustments, the fit was still extreme. You then came down with various bike-related ailments probably attributed to the fit (but perhaps in addition to perhaps too quick a mileage buidup). You continued with the approach that we'll make it all work out somehow. Rather than take that approach, you should consider another approach. Your frame was relatively cheap, what, $400? It is a very minor mistake in the large scheme of things, so much smaller than many here have made, not all of whom are rich either. Here's the same advice I've given before: You may want to re-read ET's "Idiot's Guide to Bike Fit"; can't hurt. Then buy another frame--for around the same money, if that amount is such an object (if not, it might be time for a somewhat better frame, especially now that you have a better idea of your fit)--and swap all your components from your current bike to that new frame. Sell your old frame to help lower the costs. See how helpful the original bike shop will be towards meeting any of your objectives or lowering their costs, considering that they missed bigtime. All this will cost you under $500, which just about any avid cyclist spending so much time riding (and you are one) would consider worth borrowing if necessary in order to pursue their beloved sport. You could probably justify it as not even a loss (e.g. if you deduct gas spent, medical bills saved, suffering eliminated). That "somehow make it work out" philosophy is just not worth the continuing pain and suffering.
Options I'm ConsideringKristin
Oct 14, 2001 8:34 AM
Thanks ET. I am considering several options. The fit guys assure me that they can make this bike work. Though, I'm just nervous about it not working. I asked about being able to come back if something in the fit doesn't work out, and the guy was hesitated then danced around it. I'm not sure they're willing to gaurentee their work. This makes me nervous too. I think I'll press them on this point before I proceed any further.

Since I can now prove that the DeBernardi is too small--because I can't get anywhere near a correct knee to pedal position. I'm going to ask the shop (hopefully thru their coach) if they will sell me a 55cm frame for half price in exchange for the frame thats too small. I'm not sure I'll get anywhere, but will try. The guy who sold me the bike originally hung a plumb line from my knee. I'm still puzzled over that, but am trying not to draw negative conclusions.

Otherwise I'm prayerfully considering whether to get a new frame or work with this one. I must also remain open to the possiblity that I can not do any of this till spring. I'm very close to financial freedom and I don't want to take a step in the wrong direction. Not even for cycling. Financial freedom is more important than my bike. If I can manage it, a bigger frame is the better solution.
Options I'm Consideringmackgoo
Oct 14, 2001 9:03 AM
One other thing I haven't seen discussed and I'm sorry to say I haven't been following this so excuse me if it was previously. Any way, what size crank arms do you have, this too would affect the knees position.
What I gather from the last post your on a 53cm now?
Also a person may "look" one way but "feel" perfectly fine. Personally I would stop spending money and ride for a while if possible taking it slow and see how the current fit felt after a while.
How tall are you as well as the inseam length?
Options I'm Consideringmackgoo
Oct 14, 2001 9:04 AM
Are you still doing the chat room. This would be alot better to discuss real time.
Options I'm Consideringpeloton
Oct 14, 2001 9:24 AM
If I were you, Kristin I would do this. Get the fitting, and take that as an idea of where you should be on a bike, and what sort of geometry and measurements you need. Place the DB in the classifieds, and I'm sure it will sell. Small frames from cool companies are hard to come by in the used market, and it should sell more easily than a 56cm Trek (which there are many of for sale). Take the money you get from the DB to get a new bike as everything goes on sale this winter. There are a lot of good deals out there now. This way, you get a frame that fits, you don't spend more money on an ill fitting bike, and it won't sting financially all that bad.

That is what I would do, anyway. Good luck
Options I'm ConsideringJon
Oct 14, 2001 10:07 AM
Good advice above. While you're at it, make sure you get your leg length discrepancy equalized too. With
respect to arm reach vs. position of your nose over the bar, relative torso, neck, and arm length
can vary widely. Your feeling of shoulder tenseness should clue you in here. Kevin Lippert in his
excellent article on bike fit notes that the final check on fit, after all other adjustments have been
dialed in, is to place you and the bike on a couple of scales. Approximately 55% of your total
weight should be over the rear wheel and 45% over the front wheel. If you achieve this plus
a proper, functional knee over pedal position you should feel relaxed, balanced, and comfortable.
By the way, preferred knee over pedal position is not a one rule fits all issue. It will vary according
to one's build and preferance. Knee over or slightly behind the spindle will provide more torque, and
knee slightly ahead of the spindle will facilitate higher foot speed. So it's probably best to start
with the neutral position which a fitter will probably place you in, ride that way for awhile, then
if you're still not completely comfortable experiment with both fore and aft adjustments. Be
patient, be persistent, and you will arrive at a solution.
Oct 14, 2001 11:56 AM
Peleton, I'd love to do just what you suggested. But how much can I get for a DB Alle w/Veloce and 2+K on it? Realistically, about $800. That may even be high. I'd take at $600 loss and only have cash enough for a Trek 1000. This is not favorable.

I have tried to gently hint that I'm poor in an attempt to maintain some dignity. I guess I should just say it! I'm not eating out of dumpsters or anything; but I also don't have disposable cash. Perhaps $400 isn't a big deal to anyone here; but spending that right now would not be wise. So please understand.
Oct 14, 2001 12:14 PM
I understand where you are coming from. I just thought it was a solution that wouldn't cost much and would solve your fit problems. I look at it this way. I'm sure I could sell your bike for $800, and you could too. You said that you were going to sink more into your current bike for fit adjustments. That was about $200 if I recall correctly that you wouldn't have to spend. That's about $1000 in your pocket then. Superslow is selling Schwinn Fastbacks with Ultegra and some other nice parts for just over $1000. I figure that is a new bike for just the money you would have spent on fit adjustments, and the effort of selling your DB. If you look around this winter, I'm sure you can find other bikes that are good deals like that Schwinn too.

I do this on a regular basis. Selling last years bike, so that I can get another one on shop form without laying out any extra cash. It takes a little hustling, but you can make it work without spending lots of cash.
Options I'm ConsideringGregJ
Oct 14, 2001 11:37 AM
I just checked the geometry of the DB frames. Going from a 53 to a 55 frame will gain you 0 cm in additional setback but a longer TT.(Which I think you were trying to avoid.) Saddle setback is not a function of frame size, it is a function of saddle height and seat tube angle. (The style of post will determine how much you can move the saddle fore-aft.) The DB bikes use 74 degree angles throughout the line of sizes. If you were to get another brand with say a 73 degree seat tube angle you may get some additional setback, but 74 degrees in your frame size is fairly standard. A larger frame would bring the bars up a bit but may increase the reach too much as well.
Good Info, thanksKristin
Oct 14, 2001 12:05 PM
Greg, thanks for looking that up; it was very nice of you. I appreciate knowing that. I guess that saves me some phone calls on Monday and settles the question about whether to stay with this bike or go with another.
frame size doesn't change KOP...C-40
Oct 14, 2001 12:55 PM
Keep in mind that unless the larger frame also has a shallower seat tube angle (like 73 instead of 74 degrees), it won't make any difference in your KOP position. Your saddle height relative to the bottom bracket will be set the same on any frame size that you choose. It's not the frame size that's to blame for the KOP problem, it's the seat tube angle and seat post that are the problem.

One degree less seat tube angle will position the saddle about 1.2cm further back. If you are having a reach problem already, buying a larger frame will make it worse. Most top tubes are lengthened about .5cm for each 1cm increase in frame size.
Does Crank Arm Length Ever Come into Play?jtolleson
Oct 14, 2001 1:52 PM
I've never thought about this complex a bike fit question, but since KOP is determined with feet at 3 pm and 9 pm, it just seems obvious that crankarm length could contribute to it? Is that a variation worth looking at?

PS Kristin -- we gals on the board gotta stick together! Hang in there. I know setbacks, I really do. I totalled my bike in a crash in '98 when I was -- get this -- between JOBS! Yikes!!! I got a six months same as cash deal and paid off the new steed... fortunately an intervening tax refund helped alot.
Does Crank Arm Length Ever Come into Play?Rich Clark
Oct 14, 2001 2:05 PM
It does, but but the benefit is somewhat offset by the required complementary saddle adjustment. Longer cranks require a lower saddle -- and may exascerbate knee problems. Dropping saddle height moves it forward, and Kristen can't move it backward any further to compensate.

You would normally expect a 53-54cm frame to come with 170mm cranks. If that's what she has, I'd be very cautious about going longer.

Oct 15, 2001 4:13 AM
KOPS is not important. If it were, recumbents wouldn't be as fast as they are. You sound like a typical woman - long legs and short upper body - compounded perhaps by long femurs as well. The top-tube fit and your weight distribution are much more important than proper KOPS. (That's where the nose comes in). You want your hands over the front axle when you're in the drops, to get the proper 60/40 weight distribution for good handling (not your nose -a plumbline off your nose - looking forward - should fall about 1 inch behind the handlebars. Then it's all about comfort. Sore neck? Hands too low or too far forward. Sore lower back? Too stretched out or saddle too high. Saddle height will be limited by where you find comfort, nothing else. The perfect fit is a figment of a marketing imagination. Why not go to a good custom framebuilder and see what he suggests. Otherwise, ride your bike and forget the measurements.
With all due respect...Kristin
Oct 15, 2001 6:17 AM
"KOPS is not important. If it were, recumbents wouldn't be as fast as they are."

Recumbants are a completly different animal. They don't use muscle groups in the same fashion at road bike cycling and I can't imagine why someone would compare the two. You've just said lots of the advice given is bad. I truly mean this with respect. You could be a pro racer or a coach, or you could be a 16 year old working in a cheezy bike shop. What are you credentials that I should disgaurd the previous advice based on your post?
With all due respect...Len J
Oct 15, 2001 6:27 AM

I'm not an expert on KOP either but this article raises enough logical points to get me questioning it's wisdom also.

I Use KOPS as a guide & then move from there to get more comfortable. I am a spinner & have found more comfort, more efficiency & better weight distribution by being forward of KOP.

Just my experience.

your experience supports KOP...C-40
Oct 15, 2001 9:00 AM
KOP is just a rough starting point.

Most cyclists who have experimented with KOP position soon learn that moving the knee forward enhances cadence, while moving it back enhances the application of torque. Since power = torque X cadence, the idea is to find the combination produces that produces the best power and lowest fatigue. My preferred position places the knee slightly behind the pedal spindle.
Agreed but.........Len J
Oct 15, 2001 9:03 AM
my concern was that in the fit Kristin had done, KOP had moved (seemingly) from a "rough start" to an "etched in stone, handed down from God" rule of cycling fit. I was merely trying to point out that there were other views.

KOPS and kneesRich Clark
Oct 15, 2001 10:54 AM
Bontrager's article may be entirely correct, and still not be persuasive when debating whether KOPS is important as a way to achieve one specific goal:

*to get a fit that reduces stress on the knees while keeping the center of gravity near the center of mass

In other words, much of the discussion of bike fit is performance-oriented, and assumes a fit rider with no bio-mechanical issues.

A rider with chronic knee problems, who also experiences hand/wrist/shoulder discomfort, sounds very much to me like someone who needs to reduce knee extension while moving to a less forward position on the bike.

I think that a bike that doesn't even include this in the possible range of adjustment is not a suitable bike for such a person. Such a rider ought to at least be *able* to get her knee over the pedal spindle and her weight off her hands if she chooses to.

The critical thing is to be able to do both. Sure you can keep raising the saddle as you move it forward to keep knee extension the same, but ultimately you've put the COG way forward of the bottom bracket and you run out of stem. You've so changed the way you're loading the bike that even the frame's designer probably wouldn't recognize the ride quality any more.

IMO one of the important principles of bike fit is to avoid extremes. If something is so far off that it requires an unusual or non-standard part to compensate, I'd be looking for a different frame.

I'm confused....Len J
Oct 15, 2001 11:25 AM
What does KOP have to do with reducing knee stress?

If there is a relationship, and if spinners should be forward of KOPS(vs Mashers being rear of KOPS), wouldn't that mean that forward of KOPS would be less knee stress (since spinning is less stressful than Mashing on the knees)?

I feel like I'm missing something fundamental. Help.

I do agree with your statement about performance oriented goal vs. comfort oriented goal equaling different bike fits BTW.

Looking forward to learning something.

You think you're confused...Kristin
Oct 15, 2001 12:36 PM
...try walking around in my brain for 5 minutes!

So are we saying here that its bad to put a setback seat post on the bike? When I say setback, I should explain that I mean a post that has a curve in it...just incase I'm calling it by the wrong term.

As I've been reading everything, I've been thinking of my position on the bike. I'd like to try to explain this better. What I mean when I say, "I feel too forward," is that I feel like my center of gravity is placed too far forward when I'm on the hoods--closer to my shoulders. If I let go of the hoods and attempt to hover in that position would use alot of Abs before finally falling onto my face. When I stand to climb, I have to move my whole body up and forward and still don't feel in control. The result is I climb almost entirely upright, with my butt nowhere near the saddle. I notice other riders don't do this.
I Understand & am sorry.....Len J
Oct 15, 2001 1:09 PM
to have added to your confusion.

I reread the advice above and I think I would summarize it as follows:

1.) KOPS is a starting point not a commandment.
2.) Balance and center of gravity are at least as important & probably more important. Your sense of Having your CG too far forward should be paid attention to. I think the rule is that, when on the hoods, 55%/45% weight distribution back/front is the norm. (I've seen this tested using a bathroom scale & two friends.)
3.) In your case, comfort concerns are more important than performance. This is a helpful thing to keep in mind when deciding between two alternatives.
4.) If you move the seat back, you have to use a shorter stem unless you want to increase the reach. This is simple geometry.
5.) You seem to have two choices. One, set a dollar limit of what you are willing to spend to get fit right on your current bike and experiment using someone you have confidence in to advise you. or Two, start over on a new bike. In the latter case, you will still need someone to help you whom you have confidence in. Remember that all the advice you are receiving here (mine included) while well intentioned, is based on never having seen you on the bike. While we can give you the "benchmarks", we don't know exactly how they "fit" your body.
6.) Trust your own feel on the bike. Only you can tell after riding for a while weather a particular fit works or doesn't. Remember that small changes can have big impacts.

My confusion is about the relationship of KOPS to knee pain, I have never heard this before so I was looking for clarity.

Again, sorry if my confusion added to yours. I hope this helps.

You think you're confused...mackgoo
Oct 15, 2001 1:10 PM
You say you have a Veloce group. Yopu don't have a Veloce seat post? I know my Athena and now my Record both had the back curve I would imagine Veloce does too. How far off is your KOP?
Also how long have you been riding? Some of the things you talk about I believe will come with time in the saddle. It would seem that your bike would have to be more than two sizes too small if your fit is as off as you seem to think it is. Certainly there is a measure of room for a "good fit".
Oct 15, 2001 2:08 PM
What you're going through is all part of the learning curve - you just seem to be getting it done much faster than many of us. Crashing and dialing in your fit are advanced topics. Wait unitl you get taken down by a stupid deer, 50 yards after starting your ride and spend your planned ride time in the pharmacy replenishing your large bandage supply - and dripping blood on their floor.... Or get your tights sucked into your rear wheel when they come loose from stored under your seat at 50 mph. Or endo into a tree and rip your arm open b/c your new MTB cleats aren't broken in and you take a 4x4 ambulance to the ER.

Point is it's so much more interesting than sitting at home watching TV and when you are dialed in you can ride your bike on a double century and totally enjoy it. I'm serious. ;-)

BTW - Recumbents are fast b/c they have so much less drag, not b/c the positoining of a normal bike ISN'T important. They aren't fast up hill - and that's a fact.
You talking her into it or out of it? :-) nmLen J
Oct 15, 2001 3:04 PM
My plansKristin
Oct 17, 2001 3:27 PM
Okay, I've had a few days to calm down over this whole thing. The opinions lean strongly in one direction. Get a new frame. I spoke with the gentleman doing my fit again on Monday. After thinking about it over the weekend, he too thinks I should consider another bike. That does seem wise.

God willing, I hope to save $1000 or more over the next year for a new frame. The DeBernardi may not fit perfectly, but it does have wheels that turn. No reason I can't ride it with care for another season. (And you never know...sometimes money falls from the sky.) When ready, I think I'll turn to GVH for my frame. People seem to have nothing but praise for this guy. I'll put the Veloce on it and sell the Alle. A year or so later, and I'll upgrade the whole group. Sound like a plan?

Thanks for listening to me whine about all this. And truly, thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes the best prizes in life are the ones we have to wait for and the ones that cost us something personal. I still intend to contact the owner of the shop that sold me the Alle. Perhaps things can be made right sooner.
Oct 17, 2001 3:43 PM
I knew you had turned the corner when you posted your response to the request for cycling "success stories." You just need to sell a few of your photos and you'll be on the way.
Here's a suggestion:look271
Oct 17, 2001 4:18 PM
Try e-bay. See what you can get for your frame/bike. You might be amazed. I sold 1 frameset and a bike for alot more than you could even expect. A bike as new as yours would get a good price. Hang in there. It will all eventually work out. The new guy doing the fit. Is he from the same shop? Hope not.
My plansJohnG
Oct 18, 2001 7:52 PM

Feel free to email me. I have a ton of bike parts and probably have a set-back SP you could have.

Here's where I get flamed, but if Kristin's name were Bubba...cory
Oct 18, 2001 8:34 PM
...would she be getting 2,000 views of her posts? I'm wholly in support, I wish you well, but jeez, we've all got garages full of mistakes. My saddle collection alone would pay for a semester at a state college, and that doesn't even count the frames. Go ride the bike.
Here's where I get flamed, but if Kristin's name were Bubba...mackgoo
Oct 19, 2001 6:54 AM
That's life. Although things may change if we go through this again with the "new" bike.
Oct 21, 2001 8:22 PM
Pretty strongly worded; but not very straight forward. I think what you meant to say--correct me if I'm wrong--is that you're sick of reading my sob stories. I can see where you're coming from with that regard. I apologize for turning to this board for personal support. It was designed for the exchange of technical information. However, you should have stated that directly.

You're comments about having a garage full of mistakes and "go ride the bike", are pretty insentive. They also miss the mark. I posted this due to frustration that has resulted from my NOT being able to ride the bike. NOT as in NOT. Additionally, there are people in the world--in your town even--who will never own a garage, let alone fill one with bike parts. Count yourself among the finacially blessed.

Just a suggestion. If you have enough saddles sitting in your garage to pay for a semester of school, you should sell them and donate the money to a scholarship. ...Or buy a bike for a kid in the getto. But don't let them sit in the garage where their only purpose is to collect dust.
Oct 22, 2001 3:58 AM
Bravo, Bravo.