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Basic positioning...bike setup(9 posts)

Basic positioning...bike setupPsychler
Mar 25, 2002 6:34 AM
New frame...give me some basics for setting up my saddle height, distance from bar, seat position in relation to pedals. And, as an aside, why the emphasis on setback seatposts? I see that many riders ask about them.
re: Get a stand and be ready to spend a little timedzrider
Mar 25, 2002 7:15 AM
I start with seat height. Put the crank arms parallel to the seat tube and your heel should rest comfortably on the pedal. Make sure you try both sides and be certain you're not tipping your hips to make your heel reach.

Next, to get the fore and aft for the seat, I use a plumb bob to line up the front of the knee directly above the pedal axle. A third hand really helps on this step. The axle is about 15mm wide and I'd be more comfortable at the back edge of it than the front edge but anywhere from the center back is a reasonable starting place.

Go back and forth between the seat height and fore and aft adjustments until both work. Each time you change one you change the other.

Last I get on the bike and ride leaning forward as far as I can with my hands behind my back. There is a balance point and I try to place my bars so that I find this balance point with my elbows slightly bent and my hands on the hoods.

There are certainly more scientific ways of fitting and an experienced mechanic at a good shop would probably save you some time and future adjustments, but I doubt you'll go too far astray with this method.
re: Get a stand and be ready to spend a little timeken425
Mar 25, 2002 9:21 AM
I've heard the part about resting your heel on the pedal before. My question: do you put the heel on top of the pedal or so that it just touches the back end of the heel? Also, do you tape the pedal in place when you do this? (Mine flip upside down when I'm not clipped in.) I recently changed seatposts and I'm trying to get my saddle height dialed in again. Any help would be appreciated.
re: Get a stand and be ready to spend a little timedzrider
Mar 25, 2002 11:03 AM
With Look pedals I get it right side up with the back of my heel on the back of the pedal by flipping the pedal over as if I were going to clip in and then sliding my foot forward. When I used clips and straps I did it with the pedal upside down as there was no height difference between the top and bottom. I don't know how it would work with other pedals, but it's been a pretty good approximation. Once you get it right, you can measure from the top of the pedal to the top of the seat and come up with a useful number that allows for differing crank lengths, posts, saddles, etc.
Good point!Spoke Wrench
Mar 25, 2002 6:33 PM
It's a little too late now, but when you get your saddle height dialed in again, run a tape measure from the top of the pedal spindle parallel to the seat tube to the top of the saddle. Now you can do a rough, quick fit on any bike that you want to ride.
re: Basic positioning...bike setupDINOSAUR
Mar 25, 2002 7:29 AM
There are zillions of formulas for position. I've found they are good for a starting point. The most important one is saddle height and KNOP, although many people don't believe in the KNOP setting. What I did is a lot of tinkering and experimenting over the past three years trying different positions. You see stuff on setback seatposts because of steep seat tube angles and riders with long legs (like me) who have to go with an setback because they can't get dialed in otherwise. Saddle rails make a difference also, depending on saddle selection. I used to have a site about setup, but it's no longer available. Remember formulas just give you a starting point and you have to adjust from there.
The key for me has been handlebar position.Spoke Wrench
Mar 25, 2002 6:47 PM
Of course, you have to get the saddle properly adjusted relative to the pedals before you can adjust the handlebars relative to the saddle.

I start by adjusting the height of the handlebar so that the top of the bar is 1" to 2" below the top of the saddle. The exact height of the bar isn't as easy to adjust as it was in the quil stem days. Then I guestimate the stem reach that I need to hide the hub behind the handlebar. When I get it right, it works whether I'm on the brake hoods or in the drops.

Actually, Gary Klein has a theory about positioning the handlebars relative to the pedals, but I have never been able to understand how to make it work.
check out colorado cyclist's website NMRayBan
Mar 25, 2002 8:56 AM
Get fitted by pro....You might find out you goofed on frame...bic
Mar 25, 2002 9:27 PM