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Bike sizing question: handlebar drop too much?(8 posts)

Bike sizing question: handlebar drop too much?Enduro48
Apr 28, 2003 7:31 PM
I had a professional bike fit earlier this year, and it was determined that the handlebar/seat drop length should be 1.9 cm. Well, when the bikeshop was building my bike they cut my carbon steerer tube according to the specifications, but later determined that the original bike fit was wrong (employee didn't figure the difference with my integrated headset frame vs. standard frame). Now, the drop length is 4.7 cm. Is this drop too much for me now? I'm pretty flexable (can easily touch my toes) and the technician said it would probably be okay.

The bike shop has offered to buy another Reynolds Ouzo Comp Integrated fork and re-cut it to the correct length (however, they could not use a carbon steerer tube, because the length would be greater than 3.8 cm. and beyond safety specifications). Therefore the fork/steerer tube would have to be an aluminum one, and about 150 grams heavier. Do I go with "spot-on" fit and a heavier fork, or a lighter fork with more handlebar/seat drop? Are there any other options? Thanks.
Apr 28, 2003 7:54 PM
How long does the offer stand for the shop to buy you a replacement fork? If they want to do it now (and possibly reuse the brand-new, but cut fork on a smaller bike), then make the decision now. If not, then ride the carbon steer bike that is cut short and see how it feels. You can also try some different angled stems to get the bar where you need it. You might like it, or maybe you'll feel more versatile on one with a lot more steer tube.

FWIW, I have ridden on a full Carbon Ouzo Pro and a alum steer Ouzo Comp. I could not tell the difference in weight. Once the steer tube is cut to your length, I doubt the difference between the 2 identically cut forks is more than 100 grams (less than 1/4 pound).

The ride on the Pro felt a little better damped - I felt a little more harshness in the front end of the Comp, but it was VERY subtle. Both were fine. The Comp has black paint that fades into the carbon clearcoat, and the Pro is full clearcoat all the way.
flip the stem?...Bruno S
Apr 28, 2003 8:01 PM
another solution is fliping the stem or putting a stem with a different angle.
ditto nmcyclopathic
Apr 29, 2003 2:59 AM
how much spacer would be neededelviento
Apr 28, 2003 8:04 PM
to raise the bar to the right height? If it's at least 4cm and assuming you use a 80 degree stem like ITM/Deda, etc., just flip the stem and you gain around 4cm right away. If you are flexible, 4.7cm drop (seat to bar vertical distance, right?) is fine.
Only an inch, ride it for a month and see how it works. nmSpunout
Apr 29, 2003 3:53 AM
re: Bike sizing question: handlebar drop too much?tarwheel
Apr 29, 2003 4:32 AM
If the shop will let you ride it for a while to see if the fit is OK, give it a try. If not, I would have them swap the fork. I suspect -- and maybe I am being cynical -- that the shop says you would need the fork with an aluminum steerer to help recoup their costs. The full carbon fork retails for about $100 more, so they could swap out the cheaper fork and still come out ahead. But maybe I'm too cynical. Since they made the mistake, I would have them put a new fork on the bike and credit you the cost difference in other parts.

My bike is set up with a drop of about 1", similar to what was recommended for you. From personal experience, if I increase the drop much more than that, I get a lot of numbness in my hands. It doesn't necessarily show up on the first ride, but will after a while. You could always use the current all-carbon fork with a riser stem, if that doesn't bother you. I've gotten used to riser stems and they no longer bother me, but lots of cyclists seem to gag at them. Functionally, though, there is no problem at all with riser stems and that would save you some weight.
not too much....C-40
Apr 29, 2003 4:45 AM
A professional fitter cannot predict by measuring or observing you on the bike, a "correct" saddle to bar height. Whether you can tolerate 5cm as opposed to 2cm depends mainly on your conditioning. If you don't have the abdominal and back strength to support your weight with 5cm of drop, flipping a 10mm longer stem would raise the bars and restore the proper amount of reach without installing additional spacers.

Many riders use 8-10cm of drop (and more)with no problems. I'm a relatively small rider 5'-6.5" and use 9-10cm. Reach is just as important. If the angle between the arm and torso is too extreme, shoulder pain may result.