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Bizzare fit issue at LBS - Long.(13 posts)

Bizzare fit issue at LBS - Long.ScottH
Jul 23, 2002 11:04 AM
I finally broke down and bought a good quality good bike a few months ago (old one was a '90ish C'dale). I had the LBS set up the fit. The shop guru himself set me up. The setup was a bit strange to me..the saddle very forward with a very short stem, 80, turned upside-down on a 59cm Litespeed Tuscany.

I rode it for a while, about 800 miles, and made two adjustments. I tipped my seat slightly down because I was getting numbness and re-positioned my bars slightly because my hands were hurting. I have had foot numbness for the 7ish years that I have been riding a road bike.

I went back in yesterday to see what he could do about it. First thing, he tells me my saddle is way too low. He raises it over an inch. That makes my seat too far back so he moves the seat forward. Then he tells me that I am too flat, that my back should be about 45 degrees so he gets an even shorter (and incredibly ugly) stem, a 40ish. Then he decides that my saddle is too narrow and grabs what looks like to me a woman's saddle and installs it. Now my position is close to what he says is right. My bike, my once beautiful work of art, looks like it went through the bicycle version of a chop shop. I am supposed to ride it for a while and let him know.

Something tells me either he is crazy or I am on the wrong frame. Any thoughts?
Not enough info to make judgement.Len J
Jul 23, 2002 11:11 AM
Need standard measurements. (Torso Length, Bike inseam etc.)

Have you taken your measurments and plugged them into one of the fit sights?

http://www.bsn.com/cycling/ergobike.html
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/BikeFit/index.cfm

Some comments though:
-tipping the seat forward (down) will increase pressure on your hands.
-What kind of seatpost are you using?
-How are you set up relative to KOP (Knee over pedal spindle)?
-How is the standover?

More info please

Len
Not enough info to make judgement.ScottH
Jul 23, 2002 11:26 AM
I don't have all my measurements..I'm 6'1-2", flat footed inseam is about 35.5" (90cm). I plan to get my measurements and run them through a fit program but I haven't had time..expected the bike shop to be able to do it.

- My hands were getting sore from day one on the bike before I started making adjustments. My hands just don't fit Shimano STI hoods very well. I didn't have the issue with the old bike because the bar and hoods were shaped much different.
- Seatpost is a LiteSpeed.
- KOP is correct..Although, somehow it was correct the first setup too. Not sure how he managed that. Maybe I was sitting farther forward on the seat?
- Standover is fine.

According to what the LBS guy is saying, I have been riding too stretched out for the past several years and I need a custom geometry bike with a shorter than normal top tube.

My old bike was too small. A pro shop in Dallas set it up for me with a long stem and a high saddle. Compared to my new bike, I would be much, much more stretched out on the C'Dale.

I see if I can get my measurements tonight and post them.
re: Bizzare fit issue at LBS - Long.divve
Jul 23, 2002 11:18 AM
I don't know about crazy, but it sounds like he doesn't know what he's doing or deliberately sold you an ill fitting bike. It definitely sounds like you got a bike that has a top tube which is too long. Perhaps the whole bike is too large...I can't tell from what your write however.
i'd get a second opinion (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2002 11:22 AM
Litespeeds already have a short top tube.Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 23, 2002 11:41 AM
6'1 with long legs and short torso should be just right on a 59cm litespeed.

I'd do the wrenchscience.com fit program (pretty darn good I think - it gave me measurements that were verified by a Serotta fit session I had this weekend), get the right length stem from this shop - and then stop dealing with them. A 4cm stem is criminally ugly, and will make steering really funky.

Alex
you might disagree with me but...legs
Jul 23, 2002 1:54 PM
I use this rule of thumb.. generally speaking and if you are athletic and felxible (i.e., a fit bikey.. your stem should be between 100 and 120 mm. anything on either extreme of that is getting into the 'this bike isnt fitting' range unless you have back problems, are elderly, or just very very new... or very experienced and purosely riding a small frame to get a stiff triangle (as in 130mm)

so something sounds funky to me.. trust your gut...
or take a pic of you profile on the bike and lets all have a look...
re: Bizzare fit issue at LBS - Long.Howard
Jul 24, 2002 4:45 AM
My body measurements - my height is 5' 11 1/2" and my inseam is 90 cm - are quite comparable to yours. Before buying my latest road bike, I had a Serotta fitting. According to this fitting, my ideal bike should have a 57 cm top tube length and a stem length - should I become more flexible - of 12 cm. The bike I bought has a 57.5 cm top tube length and a stem length of 10 cm.

Your bike also a 57.5 cm top tube length. Given that you're 1 inch taller than me and are probably at least as flexible as I am (I'm not all that flexible), it would seem that a set up such as mine should be fine for you as well.
UpdateScottH
Jul 24, 2002 7:50 AM
I rode the bike with the new setup last night, 35 miles with lots of hills. All the problems, foot numbness, etc, were there, with a few new ones. The really funny one was that my knees now hit the bars when I get out of the saddle to clibm. I'll be heading back to the LBS soon to get my old parts put back on. After that, I'm going to get my measurements and set it up myself with the help of one of the fit web sites.
I was thinking last night..........Len J
Jul 24, 2002 9:04 AM
and had a few more questions.

When you said the seat was "all the way forward", Did you mean that it was as far forward on the rails as it could be (Seat ewas all the way back), or that it was all the way back on the rails (Seat itself was all the way forward). I assumed the second but realized I could be wrong.

Let's assume for a minute that it is the seat that is as far forward as possible (Seat is as close to stem as possible). A59 sounds right for your height & Inseam. (BTW, I am assuming that you are quoting your pants inseam not your bike inseam, your Bike inseam will probably be longer) Based on the fact that your standover is OK and you say your KOP is right on, the only way this is possible (with seat all the way forward) is if your shins are longer than normal & your femurs are shorter than normal. In addition, (assuming that the 90cm inseam is your pants inseam) your legs are disproportinatly long compared to your (shortish) torso.

My (uneducated) guess is that you have non-normal body proportions, and that the shop selected size based on inseam and then when they got you on the bike realized the only way they could get it to fit is by moving the seat way forward (Due to your short femurs) & using a short stem (due to your short torso).

With the 80 stem & the seat forward, when you look down thru the handlebars while on the hoods where (if anywhere) can you see the front hub , ahead of the bars, behind the bars or even with the bars? Also, what is the result of test # 4 in the attached fit guide that ET posted (you may have to look at some of the other posts in that thread):

ET "the long-awaited "idiot's" guide to bike fit" 4/20/02 4:12pm

I'm trying to determine wether the stem is sized right or not.

Len
I was thinking last night..........ScottH
Jul 24, 2002 10:02 AM
The seat is almost all the way forward - close to the stem. The inseam I posted is my inseam. My body, though I haven't measured everything yet, looks proportional except that I do have smallish feet for my height, about size 9.5 to 10 US. I can't remember if I could see the front hub with the 80, but I definately can with the 30-40 that is on it now. The bars are well behind the hub while I am on the hoods, in the drops or elsewhere.
I was thinking last night..........Len J
Jul 24, 2002 10:22 AM
Question:

"The inseam I posted is my inseam" Not trying to imply anything but did you measure this using the "Book tight to the sit bones " method, i.e. the "bike inseam"? Because the key measurment is to the sit bones, this is a pretty important measurment.

If the bars are "well" behind the hub, the stem is too small. A "rule of thumb" is that the bars should obscure the hub when in the drops & on the hoods.

If I were you, I would first ensure that the cleats are centered under the ball of your foot then double check the KOPS position. Again this is a starting point rule of thumb, the small bone below the knee should be directly over the pedal spindle. This should be + ot - a couple of centimeters, behind the spindle for mashing power, ahead of the spindle for spinning smoothness.

Once you are at your KOP position, see where the rails are on the seatpost, if they continue to be at the back end of the rails (seat forward towards the stem) and you are worried about looks), or if you can't get to the right KOP position, try a seatpost with less setback (like the Thompson).

Finally, check the stem using wither/both the hub test & the test in ET's idiots fit guide refrenced above.

I think a shorter stem makes handling a little more twitchy, but while an 8 is small it isn't terrible, 10 to 12 is more usual. (But not necessarily always correct).

Once this is done, ride it for a while, see if it gets more comfortable, see how it handles.

re foot comfort, try some footbed inserts. I have found that superfeet inserts work well for me. If they don't work you may want to try different pedals. Those with larger platforms seem to spread out the stress.

Re hand comfort, try tilting the seat nose up a bit from level, this will put more weight on your sit bones. Also work on your abs,

That's all I can think of now.

Let me know how it goes.

Len
I was thinking last night..........ScottH
Jul 24, 2002 11:24 AM
I measured my inseam using the book tight method. As far as my pedals go, I'm using Look. I'll double check my cleat position. I can't tilt my saddle up, I'll go numb in the groin. I can usually only take level or a degree or two down before I start going numb.

My bike wasn't that bad before I took it in to the LBS on Monday. I've just had the numb foot issue and thought I'd see what they could do. At this point, I'm just going to put everything back the way it was and do some measuring and reading and see what I come up with.

I appreciate everyone's comments and if I figure it out, I'll definately post it.