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Critique my fit!(22 posts)

Critique my fit!SLR
Jun 20, 2003 1:45 AM
O.K. here goes,
I'm a newbie and was wonderng if my bike looks right. It's a compact so it might look funny to some. Here are my specs: 5'9" w/32 inseam..etc. My current ride has a 54TT and a 120mm stem. I was fitted by some of the on-line programs and here is what they recommended: 54 CT size frame. The bike I have comes in a 53 or 55. I chose the 53 feeling the 55 might be too streched out but now I might be having second thoughts. BTW when doing the "hub" test the hub is blocked by the bars while on the hoods/dropps. Here is a pic of my setup. Tell me whatcha think. I know, I know this topic is so subjective to many variables but just want some intital feedback.
Thanks in advance!
Its easy to make a small bike fit big but...Sprint-Nick
Jun 20, 2003 2:49 AM
An old coach of mine once said its easy to make a small bike fit big... but impossible to make a big bike fit small. So with that said I think by going with the smaller frame size you went in the right direction.

My advice though would be to ride it, see how it feels and after a couple weeks take it to a good bike shop with the feed back from how its felt while riding. Talking to someone in person, especially who are able to do a fit kit will help you know what if anything should be swapped. Over the internet its easy to say your inseam is such and such but impossibly to tell your reach and comfort in certain positions which are huge components to bike fit.

Make a small changecyclequip
Jun 20, 2003 3:03 AM
Your levers are set up too low down on your bars. Run a straight edge off the bottom of the drops - the bottom of the brake lever should be level with this, or slightly above, but not below - like yours. THis creates a more acute angle where the bar meets the lever - but this is how they are meant to fit. It will also raise your hands a fair bit - to counter the big drop you have from saddle to bar, and shorten the cockpit. Otherwise, looks fast.
re: Critique my fit!94Nole
Jun 20, 2003 4:11 AM
Don't know enough about fit to help, but having always been a Steeler fan, that is one cool looking bike.

I'm jealous.
correct choice...C-40
Jun 20, 2003 4:38 AM
I'd say you made the right choice of frame size, although I would use bars that don't drop the brake levers so low and don't require upward rotation (Deda or Easton).

I would also use a stem with more rise, like a Ritchey 84 degree, flipped to 96 degrees and eliminate 2cm of steering tube spacer.

The suggestion to set the brake lever even with the bottom of the bars is not relevant. The angle of the brake hood, where the palm rests, should guide the placement of the STI levers. As long as the hood angles slightly upward, you should be comfortable. Shimano brake hoods can be angled up quite a bit more than Campy, without creating an excessive reach to the brake levers from the drop section.
re:correct choice...cyclequip
Jun 20, 2003 4:51 AM
"The suggestion to set the brake lever even with the bottom of the bars is not relevant" Actually it is relevant as that is the guiding design philosophy. It involves just a little more than "The angle of the brake hood, where the palm rests". We need control from other resting places, too.
Jun 20, 2003 5:07 AM
"guiding design philosphy" ???

With large variation in the depth of the drops and the shape of the bends on today's bars, there is no way that the person who designed the brake levers could intend for the lever to be even with the bottom the bars.

Many riders will spend 90% of their time with their hands on the brake hoods. Positioning the levers to create a comfortable wrist angle and a smooth transition with the top of the bars is far more critical, particularly with campy levers.

I've never paid any attention to the bottom of the brake levers.

The ends of my brake levers may be as much as 1 inch above the lower section of the bars and it has absolutely no effect on being able to operate the brake lever.
correct choice...Mariowannabe
Jun 20, 2003 8:29 AM
A simple thing to try is to tilt your handlebars up a touch. You could go so far as where the ends of the bars point to the rear axle. But,I suggest you adjust it a bit and try it. It will effectively raise the hoods and shorten the cockpit. It'll take you 20 seconds to adjust...... Good luck - Oh, I love the paint job!
are you comfortable?tarwheel
Jun 20, 2003 5:06 AM
The only thing that matters is if you are comfortable or not. Personally, I could not handle that large a drop from the saddle to the handlebar, but many cyclists have the flexibility and physique for it. I disagree with the current trend to pick a frame on the small size, but -- again -- it all depends on what's comfortable for you. If you are comfortable with a lot of drop, then a smaller frame is fine. If not, then it's better to go larger. I agree with C-40's suggestion about a riser stem, but I disagree about eliminating the 2 cm of spacers. If you cut the steerer tube, the you're out of luck if you later decide you want your handlebars higher. There is nothing wrong with spacers, as long as you don't overdo with a fork with a carbon steerer.

Let me ask you this about your setup: Can you ride comfortably in the drops? If not, then I would say your handlebars are too low and you should use a riser stem for more height. If you can, then your setup looks fine. Many cyclists have their handlebars so low that they defeat the whole purpose of having drop handlebars. They can't ride comfortably in the drops, so they effectively have only two riding positions -- on the hoods or the tops. I do a lot of solo riding and use my drops a lot; it really makes a difference when you don't have someone to draft behind.
Fully agree. (nm)Chen2
Jun 20, 2003 6:10 AM
Name is SLR, but that is not an SLR saddle...Fez
Jun 20, 2003 5:21 AM
First of all, the hub test is really a function of coincidence and not really a good test of fit. Myth has it that it works when on the drops, but since you say it works on the hoods/drops, I guess that shows how worthless the test is. Think about it - you could bend your elbows some more and your line of sight to the hub would change. You could move your butt tad bit fwd or rear on the saddle and change it. Also, stem length, fork rake, saddle position all could affect it - its really a matter of coincidence that the bars obscure the hub, unless you have a very extreme setup.

Your definitely in the range where either size could work. After you adjust for seat angle, the 2 sizes have a similar effective top tube.

The biggest differences between the 2 would be:
1) standover (a nonissue with compact frames)
2) fork rake (sometimes they spec the smaller size with a greater rake)
3) head tube height (important if you need max bar height)
4) seat angle (adjust with proper setback of seatpost)

It is entirely possible you could set up both identically. The problem comes in when you need something extreme and one of the sizes cannot accomodate that.
photog enthusiast? nmSteve_0
Jun 20, 2003 5:22 AM
yeah, possible...Fez
Jun 20, 2003 5:30 AM
But this is a cycling board and I am assuming everyone else here is one-dimensional.

If he is, he is either retro (using SLR camera) or very cutting edge (using digital SLR camera).
Jun 20, 2003 5:43 AM
funny coming from a guy with a passion for east-Mediterranian hats!

peace out
LOL nmFez
Jun 20, 2003 5:59 AM
Name is SLR, but that is not an SLR saddle...SLR
Jun 20, 2003 6:02 AM
The name "SLR" is an old MTBR call sign since I have a SC Superlight hence the name SLR or Superlight_rider.

I really appreciate all the inputs you guys have given me on this topic. The real funny thing about the bike I chose was that the head tube for both sizes M and ML is the same at 13.4cm. I don't know why Litespeed chose to make the frames like this. I could use a cm or 2 longer head tube but it's not an option. I might try a stem with more rise but it looks kinda funny, but who cares as long as I'm comfy. All I have to say is my MTB is in the closet cause this roadie thing is pretty cool!
Thanks again,
Assuming that is a 2003 antaresFez
Jun 20, 2003 6:18 AM
And assuming there are no typos in Litespeed's geometry charts, the only listed differences between the 2 sizes are top tube, front center and wheelbase.

Fork rake, seat angle, head tube length and standover are listed as the same.

In Litespeed standard geometries, there are usually more differences. These 2 compacts are nearly identical. Seems like there is little to gain by going bigger. You probably made the right choice.
So sad. No one notices good flamebait anymoreKristin
Jun 20, 2003 5:46 AM
Hey SLR, I think I may know who set that bike up for you. See you in pysical therapy...
I'd ache all over with that set upContinental
Jun 20, 2003 6:33 AM
If I rode a bike with a drop like that for 50 miles I'd have aching hands, pains in the neck, and numb nuts. Do yourself a favor and just try a riser stem that gives you a 1 or 2 inch drop, and raise those hoods. Ride for 2 weeks and decide for yourself.
Ignore the vertical extension grouches ... bike looks fineBergMann
Jun 20, 2003 10:28 AM
I agree with C-40 on every point but one: keep the flat stem and spacers. The fear of spacers on this board is nothing more than an irrational quirk. Look at Armstrong's bike: he's riding with about 1" of spacers.

Stacks of spacers make playing with bar height to get things dialed in perfectly much easier than constantly having to swap out (and pay for!) stems.

I personally think that stems with more than 6 degrees of rise look extremely fredly. Functionally speaking, however, riser stem / vs. flat stem with spacers makes no difference in performance.

As for drop, I've been riding with 4" of drop for over 15 years now. If you're fit and flexible, you won't have any problems.

Ride and tweak, you're on the right track!
same size as you ...Geardaddy
Jun 20, 2003 11:16 AM
I would have gone for the larger frame with a shorter stem, as I like the handling better. There's no way I would ride with that drop from saddle to bar. Not only would it hurt, but I don't like the handling of the bike when climbing out of the saddle when the bars are so low. Spacers or riser stem - who cares? Whatever gets the right proportion.

Finally, I like angling the top of the bars so that they are nearly level (whereas yours is angled a bit downward), as I find that to be a more comfortable rest postion on the hoods over the long haul. If you did that, then you would probably want to slide the hoods further down the bars for proper reach from drops. One thing nice about this setup is that you can rest your forearms with palms down right across the top of the bars up to the hoods. If you had Campy-style Ergo levers, you could even easily shift from this position.
re: Critique my fit!MShaw
Jun 23, 2003 11:04 AM
Just a note: its hard to critique a fit if you can't see the person riding the bike.