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So how does one figure proper reach at home?(6 posts)

So how does one figure proper reach at home?Mr Nick
Oct 7, 2003 4:37 PM
From my last post I have learned that everyone thinks I have too much reach, or too much drop.

As far as drop goes that is highly doubtful. I run a 107 degree stem that is 110mm long with 35mm of spacers. This puts my bars less than 2 inches below my seat. (1.75" to be exact) This is a very upright position by most people's standards.

Someone also suggested Salsa Poco bars to help. I looked at their specs compared to my bontrager race bars and they are very similar. There is only 5mm less reach on the Poco bar and 5mm less drop on the Poco. This does not seem like much of a difference, but I might be wrong.

So reach might still be a problem, especially considering that I have moved my seat aft since I had the bike originally fitted. I have moved the seat back almost 2 cm. But how does one determine proper reach?
I have read that if your forearms are parallel to the ground while you are in the drops, then your elbow should be at a 90degree angle for correct reach. When I do this test, the reach is pretty close although it is tough to say if the angle is exactly 90degrees. Are there any other rules of thumb that I can try?

Can't be figuredKerry Irons
Oct 7, 2003 5:16 PM
Reach is a very personal thing, and all the "rules" are really just guidelines. By far the most standard "rule" is that your handlebar should obscure your front hub when you're riding in your preferred position (drops, levers, or tops). What many people miss in this is that if you drop your head to look (vs. just looking down while holding your head in your riding position) it really skews things. As an example, my bars perfectly cover my front hub when I look down with my eyes, but if I tilt my head to look down, the bars are 2-3 cm "in front" of the hub. This is at least part of the reason that some people rant about how this "rule" doesn't work for them. Due to the radical differences in the combination of body proportions and flexibility, there is no way to calculate "proper" reach. Your best bet is to have someone experienced in bike fit watch you ride and make a recommendation.
While at home, your wife should be in reachChainstay
Oct 7, 2003 6:35 PM
Seriously. Post some pictures, ask some friends or your LBS. I think it makes sense to have the fit looked at, especially since moving your saddle back 2cm is a lot. Where is your knee in relation to the ball of your foot at 3:00 o'clock?
try a Look Ergo stem?DougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 6:38 AM
My LBS will loan out a Look Ergo stem so that you can try different positions. Maybe you can, too. In my view, trial and error is the only way to go, and the Ergo is the best way to experiment. If you really need to do it at home, then do it on a trainer.

here's howET
Oct 8, 2003 9:12 AM
This rule of thumb aids in determining that ever-elusive horizontal reach. It is remarkably accurate and can indeed be done at home, and in seconds:

Place the back of your right arm--the area just above the elbow--against the front tip of the nose of the saddle of an upright-standing bike so that your forearm as a whole is parallel to the ground and your stretched-out hand is perpendicular to the ground (with pinky on the bottom). Put your left hand face down, parallel to the ground, and line it up so that the knuckle notch on the side of the first finger touches up against the tip of the index finger of your right hand. Rest the left hand on the bar top (you may need to slide your right arm up or down against the saddle nosetip so as to maintain the parallel position of your right forearm and left hand w.r.t. the ground). The outer edge of the pinky finger should split horizontally the top of the bar. If it comes up short, you need a shorter reach by around that much and change stem accordingly; if it comes up long, increase by around that much. If nowhere close, that bike's not for you.

Some might laugh, but it really works, certainly as a ballpark rule, and would prevent many an ill-advised purchase. Yeah, there's other factors, such as STA (which ideally should come first), approximate seat tube size, and flexibility, all of which can be handled in other ways.
Gor for the fitting sessionpedalAZ
Oct 8, 2003 6:05 PM
I posted a reply up above before seeing this thread. You really need to go for a fitting to get all these concepts figured out!