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"Fit" of entry level bikes question (sorta long . . .)(9 posts)

"Fit" of entry level bikes question (sorta long . . .)Nomatt
May 5, 2003 10:57 AM
I posted a Q about which entry level bike to buy and was told that fit is most important. of the bikes i was considering, most had "traditional" geometry (not compact like some bikes). So, among these bikes, once i find the correct frame size, are they all going to "Feel" the same when i am on them sitting stationary? (i know ride feel depends of frame material, etc.)I ask because i live in a small town where the LBS only sells trek (and a few cannondales) and i would like to purchase from them (also because trek is based in wisconsin, where i am from :) so should i go and ride 6 or 7 different bikes, or are the ones in my price range (500-650) going to be similar enough in geometry that i can just get the proper frame size? THANKS
p.s. i can also get the trek 1000 for a real deal
More "fit" stuffeyebob
May 5, 2003 11:10 AM
As long as the frame that you buy isn't too big or small for you, "fit" issues can be made up for in saddle height, saddle fore/aft position, stem length, and stem height. If your heart is set on a Trek buy one.

Does your LBS have something like a "Serotta Cycle?" (or a fit cycle that they can dial you into before you purchase?) If it's a good LBS, they'll swap stems and saddles after the purchase to make sure that you're comfortable.

All the bikes in your price range will feel about the same. I'm guessing that the Trek 1000 is aluminum, right? If so, make sure that Trek's warrantee can match C-dales.

BT

PS Kudos to you for wanting to buy local.
fit is over rated....Bruno S
May 5, 2003 11:19 AM
most entry level bikes will have very similar geometry. Half a degree here and there, 1-1.5 cm difference in wheelbase or top tube. All this can be adjusted by changing the stem (size and angle), spacers, and moving the seat up-down and front-back. A frame that fits you should have a reasonable sized seatpost and stem. Any decent LBS will fit you to the bike when you purchase it. The LBS should allow you to swap the stem to a different one than the bike came with if this is required.
fit is over rated....russw19
May 5, 2003 1:12 PM
Being someone who works in a shop... I would tell you as my customer if you were standing in front of me the same thing I am about to tell the entire board.... Buy a bike that fits you! I would not spend 3 hours swapping out stems and seatposts and saddles and pedals to make a bike that doesn't really fit you close enough to get by on. It's not in your best interests as the customer, and it sure as hell isn't in my best interests as a salesman. I would rather get you on a bike that fits and on the road. Saves the shop the labour of rigging up a bike to fit you and more importantly, it puts you on the correct size bike. You are the one paying for it, why buy a bike and ride it for the next 4 or 5 years if it doesn't fit you?

I understand what you are saying Bruno, and yes, within reason, you can make a bike that doesn't really fit to fit by swapping stuff around, but there has to be a window of fit to work within. For example I can ride a 54 cm Cannondale with a normal post maxed and the seat as for back on the rails as possible, with a 140 stem with a 5 degree rise from horizontal and about 4 cm of spacers under the stem. I ride a 56 cm Cannondale pretty darn well. Seatpost is about midway in the frame to the max line, seat is neutral on the rails, stem is still a 130 with 5 degree rise with 3 cm on spacers. (by the way I like a long cockpit, hence my stem choices) A 57 cm Cannondale fits me perfectly, but I can also ride a 58 cm. The 58 cm I have very little standover clearance, but that's not that important, but I have more than half of the seat post in the frame, the seat is slightly forward of a neutral postition on the rails and I use a 120 stem flat rise, 3 cm of spacers, or a 110 stem with a 5 degree rise and 2.5 cm spacers. But I have owned all 4 sizes of those Cannondale frames in my life time, so I know all that about the set up ahead of time.... I would think it would take an average Joe in the shop about 6 hours to figure all that out... what a terrible waste of labor.

Get the bike that fits you right. If you have to change the stem out, that's fine... but don't buy a bike and start changing every part on it to make up for the fact that the fit is wrong.. change it to fine tune the fit and you will enjoy riding it. But if you spend hours trying to make a bike that doesn't fit, fit, think about the fact that for like the next 5 years you are going to be on a bike that really doesn't fit you. Your body will suffer, you won't be efficient as a rider, and you most likely will have a rather silly looking bike that was bastardized to make it work. Who would be happy with that when you can just get the right size from day one and be done with it?

Russ
you just argued that you can fit into anything between a 54 andbill
May 5, 2003 1:26 PM
a 58, with, I guess, a preference for a 56 or 57, but then you went on to talk about critical fit, implying that it . . . has . . . to . . . be . . . just . . . right. Maybe it's me, but I see your point in your example more than your words. I think you proved rather well that you can make a close enough fit fit. I read the poster to be talking about slight variations in, for example, relative top tube lengths and STA's among manu's, the kind of esoteric stuff that scares people away from a bike as "ill-fitting," when I think that your example shows that you can work around some apparently dramatic differences pretty well. No one is saying that, if a 54 fits, don't worry about getting a 58, but, instead, that, look, if you're within spitting distance and this one has a 54 cm top tube but that one has a 53.5, don't worry about it; it can be made to fit. Go with the color you like, or whatever.
fit is over rated....Bruno S
May 5, 2003 1:48 PM
What I was saying is that if this is your first road bike purchase do not worry about the difference in geometry between a Trek, Cannondale, Lemond, etc.

As long as it's your right size (e.g. 58cm) the small differences in geometry between brands are not a big deal.
Yes, this is what i originally meant.Nomatt
May 5, 2003 3:04 PM
i didnt mean i would settle for a 54 if i really needed a 58, what i meant was is there a big difference between a Trek 58 and a Cannondale 58, so Bruno gets what i am saying. of course i will find a bike of the correct size; i just wanted to know if i had to try 7 different manufacturers 58s to see which fit best, or whether they all have the same basic geometry. thanks again
re: "Fit" of entry level bikes question (sorta long . . .)kjr39
May 5, 2003 5:14 PM
Regarding the ps part of your message. Just so you know, the Trek 1000 isn't made in Wisconsin... It's made in Taiwan. Treks aren't made in Winconsin until the 2000 and up...
i know :( what bikes are made in U.S.?Nomatt
May 5, 2003 6:01 PM
at least Trek Inc. is still based in WI right? its getting harder and harder to buy US products. what bikes are made in the US? lemond, cannondale . . .? thanks