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Got the long top tube blues and need advice(13 posts)

Got the long top tube blues and need advicecallmeishmael
Jul 4, 2002 8:37 AM
I just purchased a 2002 Lemond Zurich in a size 57. (I'm 5'11" and have a 33.5" inseam. Don't write back and say I need a 55. The bike shop let me try one out for a 50-mile ride, and I found it to be too small.) Anyway, I'm having a good deal of trouble attaining a comfortable riding position with the long top tube (575mm) combined with a slack (72.5) seat angle. I'm wondering if replacing the Lemond setback seatpost with a non-setback post (e.g., Thomson Elite) and shortening the stem will do the trick. (By the way, I'm riding with a 3TTT Forgie XL 11cm stem angled up: meaning the stem is actually 10cm. So, stem is already on the "short" side.) Of course, it could very well be that I'm not meant for a Lemond but a 57 Bianchi( e.g., Talladega or Vigorelli) with the same standover height but a shorter top tube and steeper seat angle. (Live and learn!) Anyway, would you modify Zurich or sell? Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
Try a straight seatpost first! Might save you some $ (nm)nova
Jul 4, 2002 8:59 AM
Don't panic!Spoke Wrench
Jul 4, 2002 9:12 AM
Everyone who takes their position seriously has to make a few adjustments on a new bike. I'd suspect you have the right size frame, especially since you have found it beneficial to angle your stem upward. A smaller size is going to give you an uncomfortably low handlebar position.

First thing I'd suggest is to find a reliable friend to do the knee over pedal ritual with you. That will put you in the ballpark regarding the front to back position of the seat. That will also tell you if a no-setback seatpost, like a Thompson, will work for you.

Only after you get the position of the seat fairly well established can you seriously consider the position of the handlebars. The first thing I would try would be to rotate the handlebar backward a bit so that the drops point toward the rear axle. That will rotate the hoods back toward you and significantly shorten your reach.

Good luck. Do me a favor and let me know how it works for you.
Spoke Wrench You are a very wise man!Justride
Jul 4, 2002 9:50 AM
I am glad you posted your response. Too many times I have seen people try to adjust their saddle fore and aft to solve reach problems and end up with knee and leg problems.
Don't panic!callmeishmael
Jul 4, 2002 10:33 AM
What you say makes good sense, so thank you. Just need some clarification please. Could you explain the knee over pedal ritual please. Also, how will this tell me if the no-setback seatpost will work or not? Second, I take it you mean by "rotate the handlebar backward" rotating handlebars up--pulling up toward my torso? Right or wrong? I would appreciate another response and my apologizes for the bother.
i'll give it a trycolker
Jul 4, 2002 11:31 AM
knee over pedal: hop on the bike and while standing against a wall, feet clipped to pedals, set them in a 3- 9o clock position(parallell to graound). then. drop a plumb line from your knee (bujmp beneath) and see if it crosses the pedal spindel. that would be the correct position but... lots pf people prefer the incorrect position.
handlebar twist: move the levers towards you, point the bar ends towards the rear drop outs. it's the cyclocross position.
Yup, Colker's right..Spoke Wrench
Jul 4, 2002 3:00 PM
The bottom bracket is the one fixed point of bike fit.

Most people have an idea about adjusting seat height. You have to get your seat height pretty close first because it can affect the knee over pedal position. Go for a ride with your trusted friend. Have him watch you pedal from the back. If your hips rock from side to side, your saddle is too high. Then have him watch you from the side. If your heels droop below the pedal spindle at the bottom of the stroke, your seat is too low.

The front to rear saddle position ballpark is determined by knee over pedal spindle. I like to do that in a resistance trainer because you can pedal for 5 minutes or so first until your body settles into your normal riding position. After you make your knee over pedal adjustment, take a look at where your saddle is clamped in the seatpost. If it is all the way forward, a no setback seatpost might be a good thing. You'd like to have at least a 1/2" of travel either way for fine tuning.

What Colker calls the cyclecross handlebar position is pretty much the way nearly everyone set up road bike handlebars 30 years ago. If you watch the Tour on TV, take a look at how many of the European pros have their handlebars angled this way.

Good luck.
Thank You, Spoke Wrench!callmeishmael
Jul 6, 2002 7:13 PM
Thanks to you, I have my new Zurich nearly dialed in, and it's a joy to ride. Went 62 miles today, and feel quite fresh. Anyway, I did exactly what you advised. Set up the back end first (seat/pedal/spindle) with help of friend; then rolled up handlebars to cyclecross position. Worked like a dream. Again, thanks so much!
Good bike setup resourceJustride
Jul 4, 2002 2:10 PM
Here is a picture of knee over pedal spindle ritual and other helpful information.
Handlebar tilt and brake hood positionTig
Jul 4, 2002 11:42 AM
I agree on tilting the handlebar back a little. That can buy some shortened reach. If more is needed or the bars are back enough already, try loosening the brake hoods and work them up higher on the handlebar. Depending on how the bar tape was wrapped, you can move them up quite a ways before messing up the tape. Higher hoods are becoming the norm these days. Take a look at Tyler's in this picture and you'll see what I mean.
Handlebar tilt and brake hood positionbic
Jul 4, 2002 11:25 PM
Gee, sounds and looks great!! If your 20 something, ride 20,000 miles a year, in great shape, can touch your ass with your elbow. But what about the rest of us just normal folk!!!???:)
re: Got the long top tube blues and need advicebic
Jul 4, 2002 8:28 PM
Gee, just sell the whole damn thing, why did you buy it in the first place. I'll give you 400 bucks. How long of a ride did you take this bike on? :)
I'm in the same situation....sprockets2
Jul 4, 2002 10:13 PM
and I have moved the saddle a bit forward (the knee over the pedal thing is only a rough guideline, so feel free to at least try a new position/seatpost). I have also gone to a shorter stem. There is no such thing as "an already short" stem, as it depends on the bike, the rider, and the riding itself. I thought nothing of putting on an 8 cm stem, and I would have used the Thomson 7 cm if I had known about it.