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Another one needing Bike Fit Advice(9 posts)

Another one needing Bike Fit Advicesjomi
Oct 23, 2002 9:50 AM
Experts please help sort out the LBS Bull sh*t

I am:
26 Male 130pounds
68.5" tall
32" / 81.25cm riding inseam
24" / 61cm torso
25" 63.5cm arm length
flexibility - can place my palms on ground when warmed up

Wrenchscience calculates my overall reach at 66.25cm

I have been riding a 54CM CAAD 5 with stock 110 stem, 15mm spacers (this is a 65.5 setup). Stock seatpost has a setback to it. There is about 6" of seatpost and about 4" difference between bar and seat height. I have ridden 2600 miles since May. Ride alot in the drops, stand climbing. Do alot of club riding but I am not up to race level. Also note I was never professionally setup on my bike, just make dozens of tweaks until what seams right.

My neck hurts alot of the time around mile 40 or 50. I tend to ride with my shoulders tense and up. The more tense the more and sooner my neck hurts.

My LBS says that my bike is too small. At a wopping 5'8.5" I am a gorilla and need to be on a 56. Also that the problem is my seat and bars are too far apart in height. They have spent two hours trying to sell me a 56. The set is a 56 100 stem, riser stem, and about a 10000 spacers. The bars are only two inches difference now. But I hate it!!! It feels like I am riding a beach cruiser. There standard answer is bars higher bars higher bars higher. I can't see how the seat to bar difference is the problem.

So what is the B.S. here? Do I buy the 56 and in a few months I will grow used to it as they suggest?
Get a longer stem for my Cannondale?

Work on my riding posture??

thanks!
My experiencePsalm 147-10_11
Oct 23, 2002 11:19 AM
I had a lot of neck pain last year and went to a shorter stem and that worked for me. I was too stretched out and as a result, road with my elbows locked. This caused all the road vibration to run up my arms and "settle in" my neck and shoulder area. I've felt great since going to the shorter stem.

For me, the problem was in my fit, so the LBS may be giving you good advice.

Also, try strengthening your neck and shoulder muscles.

http://www.supergo.com/workout.asp?function=1&workoutid=2
re: Another one needing Bike Fit Advicebrianmcg
Oct 23, 2002 12:38 PM
If you are having neck and shoulder pain that is because you are putting too much weight on your hands and arms in your riding position. To eleviate this you need to raise the bars, so more of your weight will be put on your butt where its supposed to be. By going to a 56cm frame you dont have to use as many spacers or as much rise in your stem to accomplish this because the headtube is probably a couple of centimeters higher.

I would suggest you try it out for a while. You may realize being comfortable for 60+ miles is more important than the extra few seconds you would gain being in the more tucked position.

If you dont like it you can always take all the spacers out and go back to your origional set up. But, I cant really see why you like being in pain.
to try requires buying new bike!sjomi
Oct 23, 2002 1:57 PM
Too much weight on hands I thought of:

On my current Cannondale I can do the take hands of bars test and I am fine. I don't leave forward hardly any.

On the 56 bike I test rode if I did that I would fall face forward. In the drops I can feel my back straining to pull me up.
re: Another one needing Bike Fit AdviceGMS
Oct 23, 2002 12:50 PM
There is a lot to say about this and some of advice contradicts other advice, but try dropping your shoulders and bending your arms, first. LoneFrontRanger made a good post on this once. Search for it (I believe she used the term "roach" or "roached" to describe a stem-length related problem).

For neck pain it is hard to tell if your bike's reach is too short and you are riding in a cramped position with your shoulders hunched up, or if you are stretching too far and not bending enough at the lower back (and have your arms too straight). This is why the solution can often be counterintuitive from certain points of view.

Does it hurt after the ride? If not, it seems somehow more likely that you could fix the problem with your posture rather than a new setup. Relax and drop your shoulders, and don't lock your arms. In trying this, you may find out a more specific cause of the problem (i.e. "I can't drop my shoulders and bend my arms because... and that may be your answer).
your fit sounds fine...C-40
Oct 23, 2002 1:36 PM
If your inseam is 32 inches a 56cm frame will be too tall.

I'm 2 inches shorter (66.5 inches in bare feet) with a 32-5/8" (83cm)inseam. I've owned two 54cm C'dales, ridden with 110mm stems. I now have a 54cm C-40 which also has a 110mm stem and over 9cm in vertical distance from the saddle to the bars.

I can't imagine that you have too much reach, if you're that much taller than me.

Lots of folks complain about aches and pains that they contribute to poor fit, when the real problem is a lack of fitness. What I suggest is neck and abdominal exercises to improve the ability to hold up your torso and head.

Neck exercises are simple. Clasp your hands behind your head and bend your head foward. Apply forward pressure with your hands as you slowly raise your head up straight. Repeat about 10 times.

I use hanging knee raises and an ab wheel to strengthen the midsection. I have a homemade chinup bar hanging in the basement for the knee raises and use a $10 ab wheel that's available at any sporting goods store. Crunches are also good and require no equipment.
I am starting to agree with thatsjomi
Oct 23, 2002 2:10 PM
You are second person who has told me that. I initially brushed it off as B.S. because I have running marathons since 1999. I started cycling in May just to add even MORE workouts to my schedule. I have been running 40-50MPW and riding 120-160MPW since then.

But if I really analyze myself I am skin & bones above my waist. I have like 0% fat but also 0% muscle. So I think I really do need to hit the weights. It took until you mentioned again to realize that even if my heart, lungs, & legs are strong I have like negative upper body strength!!
try a home gym....C-40
Oct 24, 2002 4:17 AM
I bought a Wieder home gym for $400 that has a leg press station, arm press, ab pulley, butterfly, overhead pulley, low pulley, leg extension and leg curl. I've seen a great improvement in overall fitness since I started using it four years ago. Winter is the perfect time to develop strength for the cycling season. Just start easy so you don't hurt yourself or cause excessive soreness. Improvements will come quickly in the first few weeks.
need more info?Fez
Oct 23, 2002 3:11 PM
Maybe the 54 is a little on the small side, maybe it fits fine. Its hard for us to tell over the internet. But try this to your 54 before you consider buying the new 56:

1. Try adding a longer stem. Also change the rise of the stem so you can bring it up higher and closer to you. Most 80 degree stems become 100 degree just by flipping it over. There are also higher rises, but the stem police may cite you.

2. How is the standover of the 2 bikes? If you can't clear the 56 very easily, that could steer you back to the 54. On the other hand, the 56 may have the higher head tube and will allow the bars to be at the correct height. The 54 with tons of spacers and a riser stem may not ride or handle so good.

3. Ride more! Bike fit does change a little as you get more flexible and fit and used to riding the lower position.

4. You may think you are in between 2 sizes, and maybe you are... Cannondale also makes a 55 in their CAAD road frame.