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Custom road frame does not fit - HELP(14 posts)

Custom road frame does not fit - HELPbiketam
Jul 20, 2002 3:02 PM
Help. I have been mountain biking for 10+ years and just splurged for a custom road frame (custom as several fittings indicated that I have long legs and a short torso - unusually so) and could not fit a stock frame. So, I had a local SF Bay Area frame builder build me a Foco frame. They measured me (the builder) and the frame came and was amazing. Long story short, the LBS just built the frame and during my final fitting they told me that the top tube is too long (11cm stem now) and too high (spacers have the stem at the top of the steer tube, and the stem is 6deg rise!). needless to say, i'm bummed and don't know what to do? does anyone have any experience w/this?

Thank you.
Call the builder maybe?? (nm)Bill is in Denver
Jul 20, 2002 3:11 PM
switch to a shorter, 0 degree rise stem?(nm)rufus
Jul 20, 2002 4:23 PM
More clarity pleaseKerry
Jul 20, 2002 5:53 PM
You say the TT is too long and then state you have an 11 cm stem, but you don't give the frame size so it's impossible to figure out what you mean. Are you saying that your stem should be longer? The reach of the bars is the combination of the top tube length, seat tube angle, seat position, seat post, and stem length. You've only given us one of those dimensions/positions.

Next you say the TT is too high, and describe a TT that is too LOW. Are you saying that you have a riser stem, that it is spaced as high as it will go, and that there is too much drop from the saddle to the bars? You imply this, but state the opposite when you say the TT is to high.

Finally, did you ride the bike? Does it fit you? Your bike shop could be wrong you know (gasp!!). Provide more information please.
you need to figure it out yourself, there are no experts but youishmael
Jul 20, 2002 6:43 PM
the builder who was doing a "custom" job didnt get what you want and now your listening to the bike store people tell you the top tube is too long. Is it too long? It's up to you. Your better off making all the decisions yourself through experience. I'm in your boat, I've got long legs, 5'8" with 32" inseam. I bought a small compact frame, short top tube and long headtube.
re: Custom road frame does not fit - HELPDINOSAUR
Jul 20, 2002 6:53 PM
Have your ridden the bike yet? How do you know it doesn't fit? Sounds like it just needs a swap in the stem. My second bike is 2 sizes too large for me, but I just got used to riding in a stretched out position and I learned to love it. Dial in your saddle height and KOPS first then have someone help you with your position. Sounds like a new stem would be in order. Curious to know who the frame builder was, have you tried to contact him directly? If you are really serious I wouldn't accept the bike if you haven't ridden it yet, perhaps he can exchange it for another frame....
re: Custom road frame does not fit - HELPbiketam
Jul 20, 2002 8:32 PM
Yes, rode it today for 20+ miles and I feel very stretched out. I am not limber (genetic) and have minor lower back problems (which the frame builder was well aware of). As for my posting, which may have been unclear, I have 1.5" of spacers with a 11cm/6deg rise stem. i can't go much higher and/or back further at this point (and the frame has a 1" steer tube extension, which i requested). i plan to contact the frame builder on monday, and am mainly looking for info as to whether there is recourse on items like this or not. the lbs (which is well reputed in san francisco) calls bullshit on what happended and is willing to help my cause.

all in all, i love the frame and just want the sweet ride i org saught to get.

thanks to everyone for their input.
re: Custom road frame does not fit - HELPgtx
Jul 20, 2002 11:40 PM
I'd be curious to know who the shop and builder are if you are willing to divulge (and what's their relationship). Exactly what did you agree on with the builder beforehand? Were you using another bike as a frame of reference? Regarding feeling stretched out, well, if you're used to mtbs, it is a bit different...
well, you could get a shorter stem.weiwentg
Jul 21, 2002 4:09 AM
the 3T Zepp is 10 degrees rise/drop (it's reversible), and you could get a 10cm stem. are you a bit stretched out, or VERY stretched out? and who suggested the 11cm stem?
I'd wait a bit...DrD
Jul 21, 2002 6:28 AM
If you are completely new to road riding, I would give the new ride a chance before freaking out on the builder (let them know your concern, though) - one 20 mile ride really isn't enough to adjust to a new bike, esp. if you are used to the more upright mtb position - that being said, you can definitely do something about the stem - Salsa makes a 115deg stem (so that would be +25) - you could try a 110mm stem from them (increasing the rise on the stem will bring the bars closer to you, so be careful about getting a higher rise and a shorter stem) - there is nothing wrong with a stem shorter than 110, if you really need that, either. Also - do you feel stretched out on the hoods, or on the top of the bar as well? If it's the former, there are shorter reach bars (TTT, Salsa, etc.) which might help bring the hoods in a bit, too - getting a bike dialed in to what works for you takes a bit of time and experimentation - you need to be patient, change one thing at a time, and listen to your body, not someone else.

The advantage of buying from a lbs is that they often have a bunch of stems they will let you try so that you can get the position dialed in the way you like it... if you do it on your own, well, it costs a little more, and you might end up with a couple of extra stems, but you can get the job done just as well.
I'd wait a bit...DINOSAUR
Jul 21, 2002 8:55 AM
Swap out the stem...and give the bike a try. I took me about 1K until I got my new bike dialed in. I feel stretched out on both my bikes, but flexibitly is the key to riding a road bike...

Curious to know about the size of this bike and why it doens't long is the tt?

If you have access to the Zinn Book of Road Bike Maintenence look up the chapter on bike fit. It could very well be that the bike justs need to be dialed in..or locate someone that is knowledgable in bike fitting and have him check out your position...
If you are coming from a pure mtb background...dsc
Jul 21, 2002 2:32 PM
you WILL feel very stretched out at first - trust me on this one. After 10+ yrs. of mtb-only, at first I felt like I was doing a Superman on my roadbike. Now, after 8 months of steady riding, it feels perfectly natural.

You WILL be more stretched out on a roadbike and you need to be a lot more flexible in your lower body - back and hamstrings especially. Develop a stretching pgm. now and stick to it. As Dino and others have suggested, put your bike up on a trainer and have a friend help you dial in your saddle height/position, the swap out your current stem for one that gives you the correct reach.

I think you will be surprised how quickly your body will adapt to this new riding position.

Good luck,
whom do trust more?DanoK
Jul 20, 2002 9:27 PM
It doesn't surprise me one bit that your LBS is telling you that your new custom bike doesn't fit. I think there are two potential things going on more cynical than the other. But the solution to both is the same:

1) Everyone has an opinion on bike fit. Your frame was built according to the builder's opinion. Your LBS has their own opinion. Bike fit opinions rarely match. There is no one perfect formula for bike fit. The only person who can really sort out which fit opinions are right for you is you. Your own riding and experience will tell over time how a bike should fit you.

2) Your LBS is trying to put one over on you. They don't like the fact that you bought a frame somewhere else and would rather make you doubt your purchase enough to throw it away and buy something new from them. I'm not being overly cynical with this one. I firmly believe that this does happen. I continually encounter LBS owners who try to tell me that my Pinarello which I've been happily and comfortably racking up big miles on for 8 years now doesn't really fit me and I should let them fit me with a new bike. All this without even seeing me on the bike. They are hoping that I don't know better myself.

In either case, I think your solution is the same: put on a 120mm stem standard-rise stem, put the spacers under the stem, level the saddle and put the seatpost clamp in the middle of the rails, adjust the seat height with one of the many techniques out there (leg-length formulas, straight-leg with heel on the pedal, whatever) and start riding. You'll be able to tell if something isn't right. You have to become your own expert on bike fit or decide to trust one opinion as being right for you.
re: Custom road frame does not fit - HELPSnowBlind
Jul 21, 2002 4:26 PM
Definitely take it back to the builder and have him look at it.
In my case, the builder designed it to use a setback seatpost, and the LBS wrench assumed I would use the straight Thompson from my old bike.

WRONG! After two days of attempted fittings, I called the builder and asked him what gives. He came over to the LBS and promptly smacked around the wrench. 10 minutes later the whole thing was sorted out and I was happy as a clam.
During the whole project the builder assured me (without my prompting) that if it was wrong, he would build another one, no cost, and pay for the paint job as well. Your builder should have the same attitude. I suspect it was a bit of a boast, but I never needed to force the issue. Most builders take an increadable amount of pride in what they do, and will make good on the purchase.

The funny part? The wrench and the builder share an apartment together. Even so, assumptions about the fitting were made by the LBS wrench, and had to be worked out.

BTW, the builder is in Napa if your interested...