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Road Bike vs. MTB fit(5 posts)

Road Bike vs. MTB fitdave11
Sep 2, 2003 10:00 AM
I have finally perfected my road bike(s) fit after a full season of tinkering and adjusting in very small increments, to the point where I am ultra-comfortable even on long rides on an aluminum bike.

I know this is a roadie site, (sorry) But I need some advice on how to transfer measurements to my mt bike, now that fall is on its way I will hit a few trails.

Should my setup be exactly the same? How does fork travel figure into it?

Or if you know of a good mtb site that would be helpful that would
no easy waygtx
Sep 2, 2003 10:09 AM
You're going to have to start all over. I can save you some time (and pain) by telling you to set your seat about 1cm lower on your mtb. But basically if you're coming from a road bike you're gonna want a more upright and less stretched out position that you might think you need initially. Of course a lot of this depends on the kinds of trails you're planning to ride.

also try What Bike to Buy
re: Road Bike vs. MTB fitnewridr
Sep 2, 2003 10:14 AM
A great site is RBR's sister site;

I came over here from and both sites offer great info from great posters.
Not even close!Zman
Sep 2, 2003 1:40 PM
I have a Trek 5500 and it is set-up perfectly for me. I also own a Cannondale Jekyll 3000 mountainbike, also set-up perfectly for me.

They are night and day different though. I did make it so that the distance from the center of the crank to the center of the seat is the same on both bikes. This way my pedal stroke will be very similar.

In general a mountainbike is more compact and you sit up higher. You also spend much more time out of the saddle, especially going downhill.

If both bikes were set-up identical you would be making major compromises. Set-up them both up the way that feels best for you.

If you're XC racing, road position is a good starting point.BergMann
Sep 2, 2003 10:19 PM
Something the other posters missed: if you are racing cross country, your position on the road bike _will_ provide a meaningful starting point for your XC MTN fit.

For a good XC-race or climbing-oriented (i.e. less than 4" travel) trailbike position, try and set up your bike with a saddle height, reach, and seat/bar drop equal to or just slightly less than your road bike and see what it feels like as you shorten these dimensions by gradually moving seat forward and down.

Riding on really rough terrain? You'll probably want to drop your saddle a few mm. Descending a lot on really steep terrain? A shorter stem and less drop may be in order.

For downhill, hucking, and aggressive freeriding, however, you're going to be starting from scratch positionwise.

Like with the road bike, trial and error is the name of the game.
Good luck!